Pulmonary intravascular macrophages: their contribution to the mononuclear phagocyte system in 13 species

Am J Physiol. 1999 Jan;276(1):L146-54. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.1999.276.1.L146.


The organ uptake of intravenously injected particles was examined in 13 species. All animals were injected intravenously with 198Au colloid and magnetic iron oxide particles. Vascular clearance kinetics of 198Au colloid was similar in all species. Pulmonary uptake of 198Au colloid ranged from 17 to 60% in sheep, calves, pigs, and cats but was <1.1% in monkeys, hyraxes, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, and chickens. For iron oxide particles, pulmonary uptake ranged from 80 to 99% in sheep, calves, pigs, goats, and cats and 15 to 18% in hamsters, hyraxes, and monkeys and was <10% in rabbits, chicken, mice, rats, and guinea pigs. In all species, the bulk of the remainder of particle uptake was in the liver. Pulmonary intravascular macrophages are the cellular site of lung uptake in calves, cats, pigs, goats, and sheep, whereas monocytes and neutrophils predominate in other species. Kupffer cells were the site of uptake in the liver. Our data show marked species differences in the fate of circulating particles; ruminants, pigs, and cats have extensive pulmonary localization due to phagocytosis by pulmonary intravascular macrophages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Cells / physiology*
  • Chickens
  • Female
  • Ferric Compounds / pharmacokinetics
  • Gold Colloid / pharmacokinetics
  • Gold Radioisotopes
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Lung / cytology
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Magnetics
  • Male
  • Mammals
  • Monocytes / physiology*
  • Phagocytosis / physiology*
  • Pulmonary Circulation / physiology*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Gold Colloid
  • Gold Radioisotopes
  • ferric oxide