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Trends Immunol. 2014 Aug;35(8):358-67. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2014 Jul 18.

Homeostasis in the mononuclear phagocyte system.

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University of Edinburgh, Centre for Inflammation Research, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, UK.
University of Edinburgh, The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Easter Bush Campus, Midlothian, EH25 9RG, UK. Electronic address:


The mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS) is a family of functionally related cells including bone marrow precursors, blood monocytes, and tissue macrophages. We review the evidence that macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) are separate lineages and functional entities, and examine whether the traditional view that monocytes are the immediate precursors of tissue macrophages needs to be refined based upon evidence that macrophages can extensively self-renew and can be seeded from yolk sac/foetal liver progenitors with little input from monocytes thereafter. We review the role of the growth factor colony-stimulating factor (CSF)1, and present a model consistent with the concept of the MPS in which local proliferation and monocyte recruitment are connected to ensure macrophages occupy their well-defined niche in most tissues.


colony-stimulating factor 1; dendritic cell; hematopoiesis; macrophage; proliferation

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