CHAPTER 8 - The Metabolism and Physiology of the Mononuclear Phagocytes
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Publisher SummaryThis chapter provides an overview of the metabolism and physiology of mononuclear phagocytes. The two general categories of mononuclear phagocytes are those that are found circulating in blood and those that are found in the fixed and wandering cells of tissues. The morphologic characteristics of the mononuclear phagocytes constitute important criteria for classification and evaluation of functional activity. There are many transitional forms between the classic blood monocyte and tissue macrophage. In a usual blood film, the monocyte is the largest mononuclear cell, with diameters ranging from 12 to 15 microns. The tissue macrophages differ markedly from monocytes and exhibit a much greater morphologic heterogeneity. One basic difference is their large size, which can vary from 15 to 80 microns. Following the parenteral administration of vital dyes, colloids, or large particles, a variety of cells can be demonstrated that contain these materials. These cells vary in morphology when observed in situ but have in common the ability to segregate dyes or phagocytize solids. They are found in almost all areas of the body but are usually concentrated in certain organs and are often in contact with vascular or lymphatic channels.

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