IFN-γ Drives human monocyte differentiation into highly proinflammatory macrophages that resemble a phenotype relevant to psoriasis

Rosario Luque-Martin, Davina C. Angell, Mathias Kalxdorf, Sharon Bernard, William Thompson, H. Christian Eberl, Charlotte Ashby, Johannes Freudenberg, Catriona Sharp, Jan van den Bossche, Wouter J. de Jonge, Inmaculada Rioja, Rab K. Prinjha, Annette E. Neele, Menno P. J. de Winther, Palwinder K. Mander*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


As key cells of the immune system, macrophages coordinate the activation and regulation of the immune response. Macrophages present a complex phenotype that can vary from homeostatic, proinflammatory, and profibrotic to anti-inflammatory phenotypes. The factors that drive the differentiation from monocyte to macrophage largely define the resultant phenotype, as has been shown by the differences found in M-CSF- and GM-CSF-derived macrophages. We explored alternative inflammatory mediators that could be used for in vitro differentiation of human monocytes into macrophages. IFN-g is a potent inflammatory mediator produced by lymphocytes in disease and infections. We used IFN-g to differentiate human monocytes into macrophages and characterized the cells at a functional and proteomic level. IFN-g alone was sufficient to generate macrophages (IFN-g Mf) that were phagocytic and responsive to polarization. We demonstrate that IFN-g Mf are potent activators of T lymphocytes that produce IL-17 and IFN-g. We identified potential markers (GBP-1, IP-10, IL-12p70, and IL-23) of IFN-g Mf and demonstrate that these markers are enriched in the skin of patients with inflamed psoriasis. Collectively, we show that IFN-g can drive human monocyte to macrophage differentiation, leading to bona fide macrophages with inflammatory characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-568
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2021

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