The development and maintenance of resident macrophages

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The molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the many roles of macrophages in health and disease states in vivo remain poorly understood. The purpose of this Review is to present and discuss current knowledge on the developmental biology of macrophages, as it underlies the concept of a layered myeloid system composed of 'resident' macrophages that originate mainly from progenitor cells generated in the yolk sac and of 'passenger' or 'transitory' myeloid cells that originate and renew from bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells, and to provide a framework for investigating the functions of macrophages in vivo.

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Figure 1: Time scale for the development of hematopoietic progenitor cells in the mouse embryo.
Figure 2: Myeloid development and maintenance in the mouse embryo and adult mouse.


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Supported by the National Cancer Institute of the US National Institutes of Health (P30CA008748 to F.G.), the Wellcome Trust (WT101853MA to F.G.), the European Research Council (2010-StG-261299 to F.G.), the Institut Pasteur (E.G.P.) and Agence Nationale de la Recherche (Laboratoire d'Excellence Revive, Investissement d'Avenir; ANR-10-LABX-73 to E.G.P.).

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Correspondence to Frederic Geissmann.

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Perdiguero, E., Geissmann, F. The development and maintenance of resident macrophages. Nat Immunol 17, 2–8 (2016) doi:10.1038/ni.3341

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