Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Development, differentiation, and phenotypic heterogeneity of murine tissue macrophages.

Document Type


Publication Date



Cell-Differentiation: ph, Cell-Division: ph, Macrophages: cy, Mice, Phenotype

JAX Source

J Leukoc Biol 1996 Feb;59(2):133-8


In murine ontogeny, macrophage precursor cells develop in the yolk sac and fetal liver. Primitive macrophages also appear in the yolk sac, migrate to various tissues, and differentiate into several fetal macrophage populations. Because the development of the monocytic cell lineage is incomplete in the early stage of fetal hematopoiesis, primitive/fetal macrophages are considered to originate from granulocyte-macrophage colony forming cells or earlier macrophage precursors, bypassing the early monocytic cell series. In adult mice rendered severely monocytopenic by administration of strontium-89, resident macrophages are maintained by self-renewal. In contrast, administration of liposome-encapsulated dichloromethylene diphosphonate (clodronate) results in the elimination of various tissue macrophage populations. The repopulation of affected macrophages is dependent on the increase of precursors in the liver and spleen during the period of macrophage depletion. Such precursors reconstitute heterogeneous macrophage subpopulations. In mice homozygous for the osteopetrosis (op) mutation, the absence of macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) activity results in a deficiency of monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages. However, immature macrophages are present in various tissues. Administration of M-CSF to op/op mice induces the increased proliferative capacity and the morphological maturation of macrophages. However, the responses of individual tissue macrophage subpopulations to M-CSF are different. These results indicate that macrophage development, differentiation, and proliferation are regulated by the tissue microenvironment including the in situ production of macrophage growth factors in both fetal and adult life.