Reticulohistiocytic System

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The reticulohistiocytic system (RHS), formerly also the reticuloendothelial system (RES), is the entirety of all cells of the reticular connective tissue , including those that are capable of phagocytosis and storage of substances or particles (RHS cells). As part of the immune system, these serve to defend against and eliminate waste and foreign particles as well as pathogens. As antigen-presenting cells , these cells also take on functions in the specific defense.

The RHS consists of the reticular cells , fibrocytes , endothelial cells and the histiocytes . These are macrophages that have migrated into the reticular connective tissue and migrated there .

The RHS and the RES are systems in which the phagocytic cells of the organism are combined, which belong to the cellular immune defense. The term RES was proposed by Ludwig Aschoff in 1924 , RHS by Volterra and later by Thomas. The Mononuclear Phagocyte System (MPS) is the most recent structure designed by a group of pathologists in the 1970s. Each of the systems sets certain priorities and includes or excludes certain cells. Granulocytes are not included in either system.

The reticuloendothelial system (RES)

Aschoff structured the cells according to increasing phagocytotic activity:

  1. Endothelial cells
  2. Fibrocytes
  3. Reticular cells of the spleen and lymph nodes
  4. Reticuloendothelial cells of the lymphatic and blood vessels including those of Kupffer's stellate cells
  5. Histiocytes
  6. Splenocytes (spleen cells) and monocytes

The RES in the narrower sense comprises 3rd and 4th, the RES in the broader sense comprises 3rd to 6th.

The Mononuclear Phagocyte System (MPS)

The MPS comprises the cells of the development series:

  1. Precursor cell ( bone marrow )
  2. Promonocyte (bone marrow)
  3. Monocyte (bone marrow and blood)
  4. Macrophage (tissue)

Van Furth also counts osteoclasts , microglia , giant cells and epithelial cells in the MPS. Reticulum cells, dendritic cells, endothelial cells and fibroblasts are excluded.


  • Ludwig Aschoff: The Reticuloendothelial System . Erg Inn Med Kinderheilk 26 (1924) pp. 1–117
  • J. A. Thomas: Conception du systeméème réticulo-histiocytaire: La régulation de l'état histiocytaire et la spécificitè cellulaire . Revue d'hématologie 4 (1949) pp. 639-654
  • R. Van Furth et al .: The mononuclear phagocyte system: a new classification of macrophages, monocytes, and their precursor cells (PDF; 345 kB) . In: Bull World Health Organ . 46, 1972, pp. 845-852.
  • K. Wake et al .: Re-evaluation of the reticulo-endothelial system . Ital J Anat Embryol 106 (2001) pp. 261-269