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Nat Rev Immunol. 2017 Jun;17(6):349-362. doi: 10.1038/nri.2017.28. Epub 2017 Apr 24.

Monocyte differentiation and antigen-presenting functions.

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Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Health, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, Colorado 80206, USA.
Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Colorado, 12800 E. 19th Avenue, Aurora, Colorado 80045, USA.
Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University Medical School, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, St Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Monocytes develop in the bone marrow and represent the primary type of mononuclear phagocyte found in the blood. They were long thought of as a source for tissue macrophages, but recent studies indicate more complex roles for monocytes, both within the circulation and after their migration into tissues and lymphoid organs. In this Review, we discuss the newer concepts underlying the maturation of emigrating monocytes into different classes of tissue macrophages, as well as their potential functions, as monocyte-derived cells, in the tissues. In addition, we consider the emerging roles for monocytes in adaptive immunity as antigen-presenting cells.

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