Haemophilus ducreyi-induced interleukin-10 promotes a mixed M1 and M2 activation program in human macrophages

Wei Li, Barry P. Katz, Stanley M. Spinola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


During microbial infection, macrophages are polarized to classically activated (M1) or alternatively activated (M2)cells in response to microbial components and host immune mediators. Proper polarization of macrophages is critical for bacterial clearance. To study the role of macrophage polarization during Haemophilus ducreyi infection, we analyzed a panel of macrophage surface markers in skin biopsy specimens of pustules obtained from experimentally infected volunteers. Lesional macrophages expressed markers characteristic of both M1 and M2 polarization. Monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM)also expressed a mixed M1 and M2 profile of surface markers and cytokines/chemokines upon infection with H. ducreyi in vitro. Endogenous interleukin 10 (IL-10) produced by infectedMDMdownregulated and enhanced expression of several M1 and M2 markers, respectively. Bacterial uptake, mediated mainly by class A scavenger receptors, and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphoinositide 3-kinase signaling pathways were required for H. ducreyi-induced IL-10 production in MDM. Compared to M1 cells, IL-10-polarized M2 cells displayed enhanced phagocytic activity against H. ducreyi andsimilar bacterial killing. Thus, IL-10-modulated macrophage polarization may contribute to H. ducreyi clearance during human infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4426-4434
Number of pages9
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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