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A histiocyte (also tissue macrophage ; synonym: Macrophagocytus stabilis) is the local form of a macrophage .

This cell type occurs primarily in connective tissue and in the tunica adventitia of vessels . Like the non-local macrophages, the histiocytes are part of the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS). When infected , they can be activated by cytokines and converted into macrophages. They play a role in chronic inflammation and can also become malignant - in this case, for example, Erdheim-Chester disease is present.

Like all macrophages, histiocytes can phagocytose and break down and break down cell debris, bacteria and dead cells. They are 15 to 20 µm in size and have a lifespan of two to three months.


  • MJ Cline: Histiocytes and histiocytosis. In: Blood Volume 84, Number 9, November 1994, pp. 2840-2853, ISSN  0006-4971 . PMID 7524755 . (Review).
  • Goyal, G. et al. Erdheim-Chester disease: Consensus recommendations for the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment in the molecular era. Blood (2020). doi: 10.1182 / blood.2019003507

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