Monocyte subsets involved in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis
AbstractMonocytes are evolutionally conserved innate immune cells that play essential roles for the protection of the host against pathogens and also produce several inflammatory cytokines. Thus, the aberrant functioning of monocytes may affect not only host defense but also the development of inflammatory diseases. Monocytes are a heterogeneous population with phenotypical and functional differences. Most recent studies have shown that monocytes are divided into three subsets, namely classical, intermediate and non-classical subsets, both in humans and mice. Accumulating evidence showed that monocyte activation is associated with the disease progression in autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, it remains to be determined how monocytes contribute to the disease process and which subset is involved. In this review, we discuss the pathogenic role of monocyte subsets in SLE and RA on the basis of current studies by ourselves and others to shed light on the suitability of monocyte-targeted therapies in these diseases.
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