The multiple roles of monocyte subsets in steady state and inflammation.
Monocytes participate importantly in immunity. Produced in the bone marrow and released into the blood, they circulate in blood or reside in a spleen reservoir before entering tissue and giving rise to macrophages or dendritic cells. Monocytes are more than transitional cells that adapt to a particular tissue environment indiscriminately. Accumulating evidence now indicates that monocytes are heterogeneous in several species and are themselves predetermined for particular function in the steady state and inflammation. Future therapeutics may harness this heterogeneity to target harmful functions while sparing those that are beneficial. Here, we review recent advances on the ontogeny and function of monocytes and their subsets in humans and mice.