Immunobiology of monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells during inflammation, infection and tumour development



Carlos Ardavín

Group Leader


Research summary

Our research program aims at exploring the role of inflammatory monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells during infection, allergy and intraperitoneal tumor metastasis.


Domínguez-Andrés J, Feo-Lucas L, Minguito de la Escalera M, González L, López-Bravo M, Ardavín C. Inflammatory Ly6Chigh monocytes protect against candidiasis through IL-15-driven NK cell/neutrophil activation. Immunity 2017; 46: 1059-107

López-Bravo M, Minguito M, Domínguez P, del Fresno C, Martín P, González-Cintado L, Martínez del Hoyo G, Ardavín C. IL-4 blocks Th1-polarizing/inflammatory cytokine gene expression during monocyte-derived dendritic cell differentiation through histone hypoacetylation. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013; 132:1409-1419

Del Fresno C, Soulat D, Roth S, Blazek K, Udalova I, Sancho D, Ruland J, Ardavín C. Interferon-b production via Dectin-1-Syk-IRF5 signaling in dendritic cells is crucial for immunity to C. albicans. Immunity 2013; 38:1176-186

León B, López-Bravo M, Ardavín C. Monocyte-derived dendritic cells formed at the infection site control the induction of protective T helper 1 responses against Leishmania. Immunity 2007; 26:519-531

Martínez del Hoyo G, Martín P, Hernández Vargas H, Fernández Arias C, Ruiz S, Ardavín C. Characterization of a common precursor population for dendritic cells. Nature 2002; 415:1043-1047



figure1ArdavinOur research program aims at exploring the role of inflammatory monocytes and macrophages during infection, allergy and intraperitoneal tumour metastasis, and encompasses the following research lines:

  • Role of monocytes and type-I interferon in NK cell and neutrophil activation during the innate immune response against systemic Candida albicans infection
  • Alveolar macrophage dynamics and immunophysiology during airway allergic reactions caused by house dust mite-derived allergens
  • Role of the innate immune system of the peritoneal cavity in defense against intraperitoneal bacterial infections and colorectal tumor metastasis

The experimental approach designed to address the role of monocytes during Candida infection involves the analysis of the early and cooperative spleen and kidney innate immune responses against intravenous infection with the fungus Candida albicans, in a mouse model of systemic candidiasis, using wild type mice of the C57BL/6 strain as well as mice deficient in the type-I interferon receptor (IFNAR), the chemokine receptor CCR2 and the cytokine IL-15.

Our project on the dynamics of alveolar macrophages involves the study of the alveolar damage caused by strong airway allergic reactions against house dust mite-derived allergens, the process by which the alveolar macrophage subset is regenerated once the allergic process is resolved, and the mechanisms ensuring alveolar tissue repair and surfactant homeostasis. Wild type C57BL/6 and CCR2-deficient mice, parabiosis and progenitor transfer experiments, and immunofluorescent and electron microscopy are currently used in our laboratory to address these issues.

Experimental sepsis, peritoneal bacterial infection models using mouse intestinal strains of E. coli, and mouse models of intraperitoneal metastasis of colorectal tumors in wild type C57BL/6 and CCR2-deficient mice are employed to explore the role of the innate immune system of the peritoneall cavity in defense against intraperitoneal infection and tumor metastasis.


Carlos Ardavín Principal investigator
María López Bravo Senior scientist
Cristina Godio Postdoctoral scientist
Alejandra Gutiérrez Postdoctoral scientist
Laura Hernández Predoctoral scientist
Adrián Vega Predoctoral scientist

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