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PloS one

Imbalance of circulating monocyte subsets and PD-1 dysregulation in Q fever endocarditis: the role of IL-10 in PD-1 modulation.


PMID 25211350

Abstract

Q fever endocarditis, a severe complication of Q fever, is associated with a defective immune response, the mechanisms of which are poorly understood. We hypothesized that Q fever immune deficiency is related to altered distribution and activation of circulating monocyte subsets. Monocyte subsets were analyzed by flow cytometry in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with Q fever endocarditis and controls. The proportion of classical monocytes (CD14(+)CD16(-) monocytes) was similar in patients and controls. In contrast, the patients with Q fever endocarditis exhibited a decrease in the non-classical and intermediate subsets of monocytes (CD16(+) monocytes). The altered distribution of monocyte subsets in Q fever endocarditis was associated with changes in their activation profile. Indeed, the expression of HLA-DR, a canonical activation molecule, and PD-1, a co-inhibitory molecule, was increased in intermediate monocytes. This profile was not restricted to CD16(+) monocytes because CD4(+) T cells also overexpressed PD-1. The mechanism leading to the overexpression of PD-1 did not require the LPS from C. burnetii but involved interleukin-10, an immunosuppressive cytokine. Indeed, the incubation of control monocytes with interleukin-10 led to a higher expression of PD-1 and neutralizing interleukin-10 prevented C. burnetii-stimulated PD-1 expression. Taken together, these results show that the immune suppression of Q fever endocarditis involves a cross-talk between monocytes and CD4(+) T cells expressing PD-1. The expression of PD-1 may be useful to assess chronic immune alterations in Q fever endocarditis.