Open Access Research article

CD14+CD16+ and CD14+CD163+ monocyte subpopulations in kidney allograft transplantation

Alena Sekerkova1*, Eva Krepsova2, Eva Brabcova1, Janka Slatinska3, Ondrej Viklicky23, Vera Lanska4 and Ilja Striz1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical and Transplant Immunology, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Videnska 1958/9, Prague 4 140 21, Czech Republic

2 Transplant Laboratory, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic

3 Department of Nephrology, Transplant Center, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic

4 Department of Statistics, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic

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BMC Immunology 2014, 15:4  doi:10.1186/1471-2172-15-4

Published: 6 February 2014



Monocytes represent a heterogeneous population of cells subdivided according to the expression level of membrane antigens. A pro-inflammatory (intermediate/nonclassical) subpopulation of monocytes is defined by expression of CD16. CD163 seems to be characteristically preferentially expressed by immunosuppressive monocytes. The aim of our study was to evaluate the distribution of monocyte subpopulations in 71 patients with kidney allograft transplantation.


The phenotype was evaluated by flow cytometry in defined time points. The proportions of peripheral CD14+CD16+ monocytes were downregulated immediately after the kidney transplantation and basiliximab treatment partially attenuated this trend. The transient downregulation of the CD14+CD16+ subpopulation was adjusted to basal values in two months. The proportions of CD14+CD163+ monocytes were transiently upregulated early after the kidney transplantation and remained higher during the first month in most patients. In ATG treated patients, the expansion of CD14+CD163+ monocytes was delayed but their upregulation lasted longer. In vitro data showed the direct effect of ATG and methylprednisolone on expression of CD16 and CD163 molecules while basiliximab did not affect the phenotype of cultured monocytes.


We assume from our data that kidney allograft transplantation is associated with modulation of monocyte subpopulations (CD14+CD16+ and CD14+CD163+) partially affected by an immunosuppressive regime used.

CD14+CD16+; CD14+CD163+; Kidney; Monocytes; Subpopulations; Transplantation