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Identification of Splenic Reservoir Monocytes and Their Deployment to Inflammatory Sites

Science  31 Jul 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5940, pp. 612-616
DOI: 10.1126/science.1175202

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Abstract

A current paradigm states that monocytes circulate freely and patrol blood vessels but differentiate irreversibly into dendritic cells (DCs) or macrophages upon tissue entry. Here we show that bona fide undifferentiated monocytes reside in the spleen and outnumber their equivalents in circulation. The reservoir monocytes assemble in clusters in the cords of the subcapsular red pulp and are distinct from macrophages and DCs. In response to ischemic myocardial injury, splenic monocytes increase their motility, exit the spleen en masse, accumulate in injured tissue, and participate in wound healing. These observations uncover a role for the spleen as a site for storage and rapid deployment of monocytes and identify splenic monocytes as a resource that the body exploits to regulate inflammation.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

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