Monocytes are mononuclear myeloid cells that develop in the bone marrow and circulate within the bloodstream. Although they have long been argued to play a role in the repopulation of tissue-resident macrophages, this has been questioned by numerous recent studies, which has forced a reappraisal of their biology. Here we discuss monocyte development, as well as the homeostatic control of monocyte subpopulations within the blood. We also outline the known functions of monocyte subsets. Finally, we highlight the plastic nature of monocytes, which are capable of a remarkable range of phenotypic and functional changes that depend on signals from local microenvironments.
Cellular Immunology. 2014; 291(1-2): 22-31. IF: 1.874