Functional heterogeneity of colony-stimulating factor-induced human monocyte-derived macrophages

Int J Hematol. 2002 Jul;76(1):27-34. doi: 10.1007/BF02982715.


Macrophages have various functions and play a critical role in host defense and the maintenance of homeostasis. However, macrophages are heterogeneous and exhibit a wide range of phenotypes with regard to their morphology, cell surface antigen expression, and function. When blood monocytes are cultured in medium alone in vitro, monocytes die, and colony-stimulating factors (CSFs) such as macrophage (M)-CSF or granulocyte-macrophage (GM)-CSF are necessary for their survival and differentiation into macrophages. However, M-CSF-induced monocyte-derived macrophages (M-Mphi) and GM-CSF-induced monocyte-derived macrophages (GM-Mphi) are distinct in their morphology, cell surface antigen expression, and functions, including Fcgamma receptor mediated-phagocytosis, H2O2 production, H2O2 sensitivity, catalase activity, susceptibility to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and suppressor activity. The characteristics of GM-Mphi resemble those of human alveolar macrophages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colony-Stimulating Factors / genetics
  • Genetic Heterogeneity* / drug effects
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / physiology
  • Humans
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / physiology
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Monocytes / cytology*


  • Colony-Stimulating Factors
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor