Origins and tissue-context-dependent fates of blood monocytes

Immunol Cell Biol. 2009 Jan;87(1):30-8. doi: 10.1038/icb.2008.90. Epub 2008 Dec 2.


Peripheral blood monocytes play a central role in the mononuclear phagocyte system by providing a critical link between the bone marrow (BM), as major site of adult hematopoiesis, and peripheral, terminally differentiated mononuclear phagocyte populations, as represented macrophages and dendritic cells. Moreover, recent experimental evidence highlights the plasticity of these ephemeral mobile cells and their direct involvement in the establishment and resolution of inflammatory reactions. Here we summarize the recent advance in our understanding of monocyte origins, subset dynamics and monocyte fates. In particular, we will focus on emerging evidence for monocyte recirculation to the BM and discuss its potential implications in health and disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Ly / immunology
  • Bone Marrow / immunology*
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Hematopoiesis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mice
  • Monocytes / immunology*
  • Phagocytosis


  • Antigens, Ly
  • Ly-6C antigen, mouse