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Ly6Chi monocyte recruitment is responsible for Th2 associated host-protective macrophage accumulation in liver inflammation due to schistosomiasis.

Nascimento, M;Huang, SC;Smith, A;Everts, B;Lam, W;Bassity, E;Gautier, EL;Randolph, GJ;Pearce, EJ;

Accumulation of M2 macrophages in the liver, within the context of a strong Th2 response, is a hallmark of infection with the parasitic helminth, Schistosoma mansoni, but the origin of these cells is unclear. To explore this, we examined the relatedness of macrophages to monocytes in this setting. Our data show that both monocyte-derived and resident macrophages are engaged in the response to infection. Infection caused CCR2-dependent increases in numbers of Ly6Chi monocytes in blood and liver and of CX3CR1+ macrophages in diseased liver. Ly6Chi monocytes recovered from liver had the potential to differentiate into macrophages when cultured with M-CSF. Using pulse chase BrdU labeling, we found that most hepatic macrophages in infected mice arose from monocytes. Consistent with this, deletion of monocytes led to the loss of a subpopulation of hepatic CD11chi macrophages that was present in infected but not nave mice. This was accompanied by a reduction in the size of egg-associated granulomas and significantly exacerbated disease. In addition to the involvement of monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages in hepatic inflammation due to infection, we observed increased incorporation of BrdU and expression of Ki67 and MHC II in resident macrophages, indicating that these cells are participating in the response. Expression of both M2 and M1 marker genes was increased in liver from infected vs. naive mice. The M2 fingerprint in the liver was not accounted for by a single cell type, but rather reflected expression of M2 genes by various cells including macrophages, neutrophils, eosinophils and monocytes. Our data point to monocyte recruitment as the dominant process for increasing macrophage cell numbers in the liver during schistosomiasis.