Seminars in Immunopathology

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 541–552 | Cite as

Macrophage heterogeneity in lymphoid tissues

  • Joke M. M. den HaanEmail author
  • Luisa Martinez-PomaresEmail author


Macrophages in lymphoid organs exhibit a wide variety of phenotypes and functions. These cells excel in the removal of apoptotic cells that arise during the generation of immune cells and are thereby essential for the prevention of auto-immune responses. In addition to this macrophages in the secondary lymphoid organs form an important barrier for spreading of infections by phagocytosis of pathogens and the activation of both innate and adaptive immune responses. Thus, the remarkable ability of macrophages to phagocytose and handle a wide range of self and non-self material and to produce immunomediators is effectively exploited within lymphoid organs to regulate immune activation.


Macrophages Lymph nodes Spleen Bone marrow Thyroid Haematopoiesis Apoptotic cell recognition Antigen presentation Immune activation 



J.M.M.d.H. is supported by grants from the Dutch Scientific Research program (NWO grants 836.08.003) and the Dutch Cancer Society (VU2009-4504). L. M-P is supported by the University of Nottingham.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Cell Biology and ImmunologyVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamthe Netherlands
  2. 2.School of Molecular Medical SciencesUniversity of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical CentreNottinghamUK

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