General Aspects And Development Of Cells In The Mononuclear Phagocyte System

The cells in the mononuclear phagocyte system include promonocytes and their precursors in the bone marrow, monocytes in the circulation, and macrophages in the tissues. The cell line originates in the bone marrow as a common committed progenitor cell for the granulocyte and monocyte-macrophage pathways, the granulocyte-monocyte colony forming unit (CFU-GM). Glycoprotein hormones termed colony-stimulating factors induce differentiation of this cell into a monoblast, which differentiates into a promonocyte, the first morphologically identifiable cell in the series. Migration of monocytes into the different tissues appears to be a random phenomenon in the absence of localized inflammation. Once in the tissues, monocytes probably do not reenter the circulation. Rather, they undergo transformation into tissue macrophages with morphologic and sometimes functional properties that are characteristic for the tissue in which they reside; such transformation is presumably a response to tissue-specific stimuli [5]. In confirmation of studies showing that tissue macrophages in animals originate in the bone marrow [5-7], humans receiving transplanted bone marrow were found to have alveolar macrophages [8] and Kupffer cells [9] that express the sex karyotype of the donor.

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