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Monocyte subpopulations and their differentiation patterns during infection

Abstract

The term "monocyte" implies a single, homogenous population of cells with uniform physiology. Recent evidence from a number of laboratories indicates that it is likely that blood monocytes may consist of several subpopulations of cells, which differ in size, nuclear morphology, granularity, and functionality. The aim of this review is to give a summary of the new findings in the emerging field of monocyte heterogeneity. We provide a short description of the differentiation patterns of blood monocyte subpopulations, with an emphasis on how these subpopulations can be influenced by infection. We provide a comparison among the main monocyte subpopulations in humans, mice, and rats and illustrate some of the common features of these cells and some of the important interspecies distinctions. We will also discuss the bone marrow precursors of these cells and the differentiation patterns of these subsets in different tissues in response to infection. Most of the data about monocyte trafficking during infection are necessarily derived from murine models, and comparisons between mouse and man must be made with caution. However, these models may provide interesting springboards to permit us to speculate about the topic of monocyte heterogeneity in humans.

Authors: Strauss-Ayali D, Conrad SM, Mosser DM
Journal: J Leukoc Biol., 82(2):244-252
Year: 2007
PubMed: Find in PubMed