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Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp). 2012 Jun;2(2):97-102. doi: 10.1556/EuJMI.2.2012.2.1. Epub 2012 Jun 13.

Monocytes in health and disease - Minireview.

Abstract

Monocytes are important cell types of the innate immune system. Recent scientific evidence suggests that monocytes not only play a crucial role in our innate immune system by defending the host from intruding microbial pathogens but they also contribute to the pathogenesis and progression of diseases such as liver fibrosis, atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and tumor metastasis. In addition, monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages play a crucial beneficial role in the liver fibrosis regression, muscle regeneration, and the clearance of the β-amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease. Here, we summarize the origin, plasticity, and pathogenic potential of monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages, as well as their positive role in the regression of some common diseases. Elucidating the comprehensive immunological role of monocytes will provide therapeutic advantages in either controlling disease progression or favoring the regression of the disease state.

KEYWORDS:

chemokine receptor; infection and injury; inflammation; liver fibrosis; monocytes; neurodegeneration; tumor metastasis

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