Immunobiology of the Macrophage

  • Richard Hong


For years relegated to a position of second-class citizenship as a lowly scavenger devoid of the sophisticated recognition and control mechanisms of lymphocytes, the macrophage has now come into its own. The publication of this volume on the immunology of the reticuloendothelial system (RES) represents the acquisition of a long-deserved position of status among the cellular elite. We now appreciate that in immune reactions the macrophage takes advantage of its ability to interact with antigens nonspecifically, but then imposes profound restrictions upon future specific antigen-dependent reactions. Not only does the macrophage play a key role in initiating an immune reaction, but subsequent modulation of the host response is affected by macrophages. Additionally, macrophages form a major bulwark of host defense mechanisms through their ability to affect inflammation, directly kill microbes, and augment cytolytic lymphocytes. The protean manifestations of macrophage functions in the immune responses are considered in this volume. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a brief overview of the macrophage role in immunity. Detailed and exhaustive treatments of specific topics will be found in the other chapters of this volume. The major areas touched upon here are general characteristics of the monocyte-macrophage systems, lymphocyte interactions, macrophage killing, secretion, ontogeny, and human disorders of the macrophages.


Chronic Granulomatous Disease Monocytic Leukemia Brucella Abortus Reticulum Cell Sarcoma Immature Thymocyte 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Hong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Wisconsin Clinical Science CenterMadisonUSA

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