Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody associated vasculitides (AAV) are conditions defined by an autoimmune small vessel inflammation. Dying neutrophils are found around the inflamed vessels and the balance between infiltrating neutrophils and macrophages is important to prevent autoimmunity. Here we investigate how sera from AAV patients may regulate macrophage polarization and function. Macrophages from healthy individuals were differentiated into M0, M1, M2a, M2b or M2c macrophages using a standardized protocol, and phenotyped according to their expression surface markers and cytokine production. These phenotypes were compared with those of macrophages stimulated with serum from AAV patients or healthy controls. While the healthy control sera induced a M0 macrophage, AAV serum promoted polarization towards the M2c subtype. No sera induced M1, M2a or M2b macrophages. The M2c subtype showed increased phagocytosis capacity compared with the other subtypes. The M2c polarization found in AAV is consistent with previous reports of increased levels of M2c-associated cytokines.
- Immunology in the medical area