Reconsideration of macrophage and dendritic cell classification

Anticancer Res. 2012 Jun;32(6):2257-61.


It is well known that the activation of innate immune cells, especially antigen-presenting cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells, can ameliorate or exacerbate various diseases, including cancer. Currently, the macrophages and dendritic cells are categorized into several groups by their cell surface and intracellular molecules. However, the detailed classification of the differences between macrophages and dendritic cells has still not been established. Here, we summarized and reviewed the previous studies on the classification of macrophages and dendritic cells. In addition, the previous classification of monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells is discussed based on our findings of macrophage activation, which has both conventional and plasmacytoid dendritic cell phenotype.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / classification*
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / classification*
  • Macrophages / cytology*
  • Macrophages / immunology