Send to

Choose Destination
Front Immunol. 2015 May 19;6:225. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00225. eCollection 2015.

Revisiting mouse peritoneal macrophages: heterogeneity, development, and function.

Author information

Departamento de Imunologia, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade de São Paulo , São Paulo , Brazil.
Centro de Terapia Celular e Molecular (CTC-Mol), Universidade Federal de São Paulo , São Paulo , Brazil ; Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Campus Diadema, Universidade Federal de São Paulo , São Paulo , Brazil.


Tissue macrophages play a crucial role in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis and also contribute to inflammatory and reparatory responses during pathogenic infection and tissue injury. The high heterogeneity of these macrophages is consistent with their adaptation to distinct tissue environments and specialization to develop niche-specific functions. Although peritoneal macrophages are one of the best-studied macrophage populations, recently it was demonstrated the co-existence of two subsets in mouse peritoneal cavity (PerC), which exhibit distinct phenotypes, functions, and origins. These macrophage subsets have been classified, according to their morphology, as large peritoneal macrophages (LPMs) and small peritoneal macrophages (SPMs). LPMs, the most abundant subset under steady state conditions, express high levels of F4/80 and low levels of class II molecules of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). LPMs appear to be originated from embryogenic precursors, and their maintenance in PerC is regulated by expression of specific transcription factors and tissue-derived signals. Conversely, SPMs, a minor subset in unstimulated PerC, have a F4/80(low)MHC-II(high) phenotype and are generated from bone-marrow-derived myeloid precursors. In response to infectious or inflammatory stimuli, the cellular composition of PerC is dramatically altered, where LPMs disappear and SPMs become the prevalent population together with their precursor, the inflammatory monocyte. SPMs appear to be the major source of inflammatory mediators in PerC during infection, whereas LPMs contribute for gut-associated lymphoid tissue-independent and retinoic acid-dependent IgA production by peritoneal B-1 cells. In the previous years, considerable efforts have been made to broaden our understanding of LPM and SPM origin, transcriptional regulation, and functional profile. This review addresses these issues, focusing on the impact of tissue-derived signals and external stimulation in the complex dynamics of peritoneal macrophage populations.


LPM; SPM; origin; peritoneal cavity; peritoneal macrophages

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center