Monocytes, which develop into macrophages, also patrol and respond to problems. They are found in the bloodstream and in tissues. Macrophages, "big eater" in Greek, are named for their ability to ingest and degrade bacteria. Upon activation, monocytes and macrophages coordinate an immune response by notifying other immune cells of the problem. Macrophages also have important non-immune functions, such as recycling dead cells, like red blood cells, and clearing away cellular debris. These "housekeeping" functions occur without activation of an immune response.

Source: NIAID (NIH)1

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Monocytes: Large, phagocytic mononuclear leukocytes produced in the vertebrate Bone Marrow and released into the Blood; contain a large, oval or somewhat indented nucleus surrounded by voluminous cytoplasm and numerous organelles.2


Types may include:3

Types of Monocyte:

  • Immature Monocyte
  • Suppressive Monocyte

Anatomy Articles

Read about these related anatomy topics:

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  1. Source: NIAID (NIH): topics/ immuneSystem/ Pages/ immuneCells.aspx
  2. Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  3. Source: NCI Thesaurus

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