Intestinal monocytes and macrophages are required for T cell polarization in response to Citrobacter rodentium

Heidi A. Schreiber, Jakob Loschko, Roos A. Karssemeijer, Amelia Escolano, Matthew M. Meredith, Daniel Mucida, Pierre Guermonprez, Michel C. Nussenzweig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Dendritic cells (DCs), monocytes, and macrophages are closely related phagocytes that share many phenotypic features and, in some cases, a common developmental origin. Although the requirement for DCs in initiating adaptive immune responses is well appreciated, the role of monocytes and macrophages remains largely undefined, in part because of the lack of genetic tools enabling their specific depletion. Here, we describe a two-gene approach that requires overlapping expression of LysM and Csf1r to define and deplete monocytes and macrophages. The role of monocytes and macrophages in immunity to pathogens was tested by their selective depletion during infection with Citrobacter rodentium. Although neither cell type was required to initiate immunity, monocytes and macrophages contributed to the adaptive immune response by secreting IL-12, which induced Th1 polarization and IFN-γ secretion. Thus, whereas DCs are indispensable for priming naive CD4+ T cells, monocytes and macrophages participate in intestinal immunity by producing mediators that direct T cell polarization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2025-2039
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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