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Histiocyte

  • Definition
    • A histiocyte is a type of immune cell. It destroys foreign substances to protect the body from infection.

  • Alternative Names
    • Macrophage

  • Information
    • Histiocytes do not travel through the blood. Instead, they remain in one part of the body.

      Histiocytes are found in many organs and tissues, including the:

      • Brain
      • Breast tissue
      • Liver
      • Lung
      • Lymph nodes
      • Placenta
      • Spleen
      • Tonsils

      An abnormal number of histiocytes leads to a disease called Langerhans cell histiocytosis (previously called histiocytosis X).

  • References
    • Crow MK. The innate immune system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 45.

      Hall JE. Resistance of the body to infection. In: Hall JE, ed. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 34.