Much remains to be learned about the physiologic events that promote monocytes to become lymph-homing dendritic cells (DCs). In a model of transendothelial trafficking, some monocytes become DCs in response to endogenous signals. These DCs migrate across endothelium in the ablumenal-to-lumenal direction (reverse transmigration), reminiscent of the migration into lymphatic vessels. Here we show that the subpopulation of monocytes that expresses CD16 (Fcγ receptor III) is predisposed to become migratory DCs. The vast majority of cells derived from CD16+ monocytes reverse transmigrated, and their presence was associated with migratory cells expressing high levels of CD86 and human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR, and robust capacity to induce allogeneic T cell proliferation. A minority of CD16- monocytes reverse transmigrated, and these cells stimulated T cell proliferation less efficiently. CD16 was not functionally required for reverse transmigration, but promoted cell survival when yeast particles (zymosan) were present as a maturation stimulus in the subendothelial matrix. The cell surface phenotype and migratory characteristics of CD16+ monocytes were inducible in CD16- monocytes by preincubation with TGFβ1. We propose that CD16+ monocytes may contribute significantly to precursors for DCs that transiently survey tissues and migrate to lymph nodes via afferent lymphatic vessels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-527
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 19 2002


  • Antigen presentation
  • Cell differentiation
  • Cell survival
  • IgG receptors
  • Transforming growth factors


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