Age-related M1/M2 phenotype changes in circulating monocytes from healthy/unhealthy individuals

Andrea Costantini, Nadia Viola, Antonella Berretta, Roberta Galeazzi, Giulia Matacchione, Jacopo Sabbatinelli, Gianluca Storci, Serena De Matteis, Luca Butini, Maria Rita Rippo, Antonio Domenico Procopio, Daniele Caraceni, Roberto Antonicelli, Fabiola Olivieri, Massimiliano Bonafè

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Macrophage polarization is a candidate biomarker of disease-related inflammatory status, but its modulation during aging has not been investigated. To do this, the M1/M2 profile was assessed by CD80/CD163 gating in classical (CD14++CD16-), intermediate (CD14++CD16+), and non-classical (CD14lowCD16+) monocytes from 31 healthy subjects (CTRs) of different ages. Cytofluorimetric analysis showed a significantly different CD80/CD163 distribution in the three subsets, as more than 80% of classical and intermediate monocytes were CD80+CD163+, whereas most non-classical monocytes were CD80-CD163- and CD163+. Non-classical CD163+ monocytes were significantly higher whereas classical CD163+ and CD80-CD163- monocytes significantly lower in older than younger CTRs (cut-off, 65 years), suggesting different age-related trends for M2 subsets. To establish whether an M1/M2 imbalance could be associated with disease, 21 patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were compared with older CTRs. The AMI patients showed a significantly decreased proportion of CD163+CD80+ and an increased proportion of CD163+ and CD163-CD80- cells among classical monocytes, opposite trends to those observed in healthy aging. Moreover, a significantly greater proportion of intermediate and non-classical CD80+ monocytes suggested a shift to a pro-inflammatory phenotype. Overall, CD163/CD80 cytofluorimetric characterization of circulating monocytes provides additional information about their polarization and could be an innovative tool to monitor aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1268-1280
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Age-related changes of M1/M2 circulating monocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Cell Biology


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