Preliminary evidence of sustained expression of angiopoietin-2 during monocyte differentiation in chronic hepatitis C

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Monocytes are essential precursors of antigen-presenting cells, such as macrophages and dendritic cells, and contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer.


As Tie2-expressing monocytes (TEMs) are increased in the peripheral blood of patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC), we aimed to examine the expression of Tie2 and angiopoietins (Ang1 and Ang2) during monocyte differentiation and maturation in CHC.


The expression of Tie2, CD11b, CD80, CD83, CD86 and MHC-II was measured by flow cytometry in peripheral blood monocytes and monocytes-derived cells (Mo-DCs) from nine healthy subjects and eight CHC patients whose HCV infection was unresolved after combination therapy. Ang1 and Ang2 levels were measured in cellular supernatants by ELISA.


Mo-DCs from CHC patients expressed differential patterns of maturation markers compared with controls – primarily with regard to CD80. Tie2 was downregulated during monocyte differentiation in controls and CHC patients, whereas Ang1 expression was constant. However, Ang2 levels fell significantly during the differentiation of control monocytes, in contrast with those from CHC patients in whom Ang2 expression remained stable throughout differentiation.


Altered expression of the Ang/Tie2 system in monocytes and Mo-DCs from CHC patients might account for the inflammatory and angiogenic disorders that are related to CHC. An increased understanding of Ang/Tie2 system regulation might be helpful in designing strategies to prevent CHC progression.

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