In the present study, we compared four macrophage (M phi) cell lines from different anatomical origins for functional and secretory activities against the two morphogenetic forms of the fungus Candida albicans. We show that all the cell lines actively phagocytize the yeast and exert antimicrobial activity against both forms of Candida, although M phi of microglial origin are the most effective. When assessed for secretory properties, microglial M phi exhibit a peculiar pattern with respect to other M phi populations under either basal or stimulated conditions. In particular, only microglial M phi fail to respond to the hyphal form of the fungus (H-Candida), which instead acts as a potent tumor necrosis factor inducer in the other M phi cell lines. When exposed to H-Candida, microglial M phi are indistinguishable from other M phi in their ability to modulate specific surface adhesion molecules. In addition to strengthening the knowledge on functional heterogeneity among M phi, our data provide evidence on the peculiar behavior of microglial M phi. To what extent M phi heterogeneity may be related to tissue homeostasis is discussed.