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Ultrastruct Pathol. 1989 Jul-Aug;13(4):343-72.

Macrophages: current views on their differentiation, structure, and function.

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Department of Pathology, University of Western Australia, Nedlands.


Macrophages are large mononuclear phagocytes that represent the major differentiated elements of the mononuclear phagocytic system. They arise from distinct progenitors in the bone marrow, and their immediate precursors, the monocytes, emigrate from the vascular compartment into many tissues and organs where they develop into mature macrophages. The latter display diverse morphological and functional characteristics, depending on the environmental stimuli that they receive. This phenotypic heterogeneity is, therefore, the final consequence of a series of down-regulation of some cellular processes and the up-regulation of others. The kinetics of the production of macrophages and their participation in various physiological and pathological phenomena is the subject of this review.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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