Document Type


Publication Date



β-Glucan derived from cell walls of Candida albicans is a potent immune modulator. It has been shown to induce trained immunity in monocytes via epigenetic and metabolic reprogramming and to protect from lethal sepsis if applied prior to infection. Since β-glucan-trained monocytes have not been classified within the system of mononuclear phagocytes we analyzed these cells metabolically, phenotypically and functionally with a focus on monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation and compared them with naïve monocytes and other types of monocyte-derived cells such as classically (M1) or alternatively (M2) activated macrophages and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDCs). We show that β-glucan inhibits spontaneous apoptosis of monocytes independent from autocrine or paracrine M-CSF release and stimulates monocyte differentiation into macrophages. β-Glucan-differentiated macrophages exhibit increased cell size and granularity and enhanced metabolic activity when compared to naïve monocytes. Although β-glucan-primed cells expressed markers of alternative activation and secreted higher levels of IL-10 after lipopolysaccharide (LPS), their capability to release pro-inflammatory cytokines and to kill bacteria was unaffected. Our data demonstrate that β-glucan priming induces a population of immune competent long-lived monocyte-derived macrophages that may be involved in immunoregulatory processes.

Copyright Statement

Copyright © 2018 Leonhardt, Große, Marx, Siwczak, Stengel, Bruns, Bauer, Kiehntopf, Williams, Wang, Mosig, Weis, Bauer and Heller. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.