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Histiocyte

Definition

A histiocyte is a type of immune cell that eats foreign substances in an effort 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 following:

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

An abnormal number of histiocytes leads to a disease called Langerhan’s cell histiocyosis (previously called histiocytosis X ).

References

Goronzy JJ, Weyand CM. The innate and adaptive immunesystems. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. . 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 44.

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