María Fernández-Regueras, Cristina Carbonell, Daniel Salete-Granado, Juan-Luis García, Marcos Gragera, María-Ángeles Pérez-Nieto, Francisco-Javier Morán-Plata, Andrea Mayado, Jorge-Luis Torres, Luis-Antonio Corchete, Ricardo Usategui-Martín, Elena Bueno-Martínez, Maura Rojas-Pirela, Guadalupe Sabio, Rogelio González-Sarmiento, Alberto Orfao, Francisco-Javier Laso, Julia Almeida & Miguel Marcos.

Excessive alcohol consumption impairs the immune system, induces oxidative stress, and triggers the activation of peripheral blood (PB) monocytes, thereby contributing to alcoholic liver disease (ALD).

miRNA of isolated CD14+ blood monocytes from excessive alcohol drinkers.

We analyzed the M1/M2 phenotypes of circulating classical monocytes and macrophage-derived monocytes (MDMs) in excessive alcohol drinkers (EADs). PB samples from 20 EADs and 22 healthy controls were collected for isolation of CD14+ monocytes and short-term culture with LPS/IFNγ, IL4/IL13, or without stimulation. These conditions were also used to polarize MDMs into M1, M2, or M0 phenotypes. Cytokine production was assessed in the blood and culture supernatants. M1/M2-related markers were analyzed using mRNA expression and surface marker detection. Additionally, the miRNA profile of CD14+ monocytes was analyzed. PB samples from EADs exhibited increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Following short-term culture, unstimulated blood samples from EADs showed higher levels of soluble TNF-α and IL-8, whereas monocytes expressed increased levels of surface TNF-α and elevated mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inducible nitric oxide synthase. MDMs from EADs showed higher levels of TNF-α and CD206 surface markers and increased IL-10 production. LPS/IFNγ induced higher mRNA expression of Nrf2 only in the controls. miRNA analysis revealed a distinctive miRNA profile that is potentially associated with liver carcinogenesis and ALD through inflammation and oxidative stress.

This study confirms the predominantly pro-inflammatory profile of PB monocytes among EADs and suggests immune exhaustion features in MDMs.