Blood Monocytes and Their Subsets: Established Features and Open Questions

Front Immunol. 2015 Aug 17;6:423. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00423. eCollection 2015.


In contrast to the past reliance on morphology, the identification and enumeration of blood monocytes are nowadays done with monoclonal antibodies and flow cytometry and this allows for subdivision into classical, intermediate, and non-classical monocytes. Using specific cell surface markers, dendritic cells in blood can be segregated from these monocytes. While in the past, changes in monocyte numbers as determined in standard hematology counters have not had any relevant clinical impact, the subset analysis now has uncovered informative changes that may be used in management of disease.

Keywords: classical monocytes; intermediate monocytes; monocyte subsets; nomenclature; non-classical monocytes.

Publication types

  • Review