macrophage meaning

Pronunciation:   "macrophage" in a sentence
Noun: macrophage  'makru`feyj
  1. A large phagocyte; some are fixed and other circulate in the blood stream

Derived forms: macrophages

Type of: phagocyte, scavenger cell

Encyclopedia: Macrophage

The relatively long-lived phagocytic cell of mammalian tissues that are derived from blood MONOCYTES. Macrophages from different sites have distinctly different properties. Main types are PERITONEAL MACROPHAGES; ALVEOLAR MACROPHAGES; HISTIOCYTES; KUPPFER CELLS of the liver; and OSTEOCLASTS. They may further differentiate within chronic inflammatory lesions to EPITHELIOID CELLS or may fuse to form FOREIGN BODY GIANT CELLS or LANGHANS GIANT CELLS. (from The Dictionary of Cell Biology,Lackie and Dow,3rd ed.) n : a phagocytic tissue cell of the mononuclear phagocyte system that may be fixed or freely motile, is derived from a monocyte, and functions in the protection of the body against infection and noxious substances —see HISTIOCYTEmac·ro·phag·ic adj


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  1. the alveolar macrophage is derived largely from the bone marrow.
  2. antibodies were used in the macrophage system to inhibit cathepsin d.
  3. the innate resistance thought to be related to the activity of macrophages.
  4. the alveolar macrophage is particularly rich in the variety of proteolytic enzymes.
  5. at any time the macrophage system might be injured by viral infection or air pollutant exposure.

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