A subpopulation of CD163-positive macrophages is classically activated in psoriasis

Judilyn Fuentes-Duculan, Mayte Suárez-Farĩas, Lisa C. Zaba, Kristine E. Nograles, Katherine C. Pierson, Hiroshi Mitsui, Cara A. Pensabene, Julia Kzhyshkowska, James G. Krueger, Michelle A. Lowes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


Macrophages are important cells of the innate immune system, and their study is essential to gain greater understanding of the inflammatory nature of psoriasis. We used immunohistochemistry and double-label immunofluorescence to characterize CD163+ macrophages in psoriasis. Dermal macrophages were increased in psoriasis compared with normal skin and were identified by CD163+, RFD7, CD68, lysosomal-associated membrane protein 2 (LAMP2), stabilin-1, and macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO). CD163+ macrophages expressed C-lectins CD206/macrophage mannose receptor and CD209/DC-SIGN, as well as costimulatory molecules CD86 and CD40. They did not express mature dendritic cell (DC) markers CD208/DC-lysosomal- associated membrane glycoprotein, CD205/DEC205, or CD83. Microarray analysis of in vitro-derived macrophages treated with IFN-γ showed that many of the genes upregulated in macrophages were found in psoriasis, including STAT1, CXCL9, Mx1, and HLA-DR. CD163+ macrophages produced inflammatory molecules IL-23p19 and IL-12/23p40 as well as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). These data show that CD163+ is a superior marker of macrophages, and identifies a subpopulation of classically activated macrophages in psoriasis. We conclude that macrophages are likely to contribute to the pathogenic inflammation in psoriasis, a prototypical T helper 1 (Th1) and Th17 disease, by releasing key inflammatory products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2412-2422
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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