Metabolic heterogeneity among human monocytes and its modulation by PGE2

L. J. Picker, H. V. Raff, M. E. Goldyne, J. D. Stobo

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42 Scopus citations


Human peripheral blood monocytes (M∅) were fractionated on a discontinuous bovine serum albumin density gradient, and cells from each fraction was assayed for their specific activity of two enzymes, which represent correlates of M∅ activation or differentiation (5'-nucleotidase, acid phosphatase) and their synthesis of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). On the basis of significant differences in these parameters, the monocytes could be divided into two broad populations. Low density cells demonstrated low specific activities of 5'-nucleotidase (5'N), high specific activities of acid phosphatase (APT'ase), and synthesized substantial amounts of PGE2. In contrast, high density cells demonstrated high specific activities of 5'-N, low specific activities of APT'ase, and synthesized meager amounts of PGE2. To determine if these biochemical differences served as stable markers of M∅ subpopulations, low and high density M∅ were individually cultured for 3 days, and changes in the metabolic parameters were assayed. Although 5'-N and APT'ase, increased among each population, the magnitude of this change could be modulated by PGE2. When each population was cultured in a concentration of PGE2 equivalent to that synthesized by the whole M∅ differences in 5'-N and APT'ase, remained as useful discriminators of the M∅ subpopulations. The pertinence of these findings to events involved in M∅ activation and differentiation as well as a possible role for PGE2 in modulating these events is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2557-2562
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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