Blood immune cells and their unexpected ability to proliferate

April 11, 2023 | Biotechnology

University of Liège team of researchers discovered that monocytes have the ability to proliferate with the aim to replace tissue macrophages, a mechanism considered to be essential for the proper functioning of our bodies.

Complex multicellular organisms like humans require the generation of billions of cells from a limited number of progenitor cells or stem cells. These progenitor cells then proliferate through mitosis, having specific morphologies and functions and forming into tissues and organs. These cells later specialize and differentiate. However, if proliferation is not properly regulated, various diseases can develop, such as cancer.

  Prof. Thomas Marichal, director of the study, and his team from the GIGA Institute at ULiège found out that the ability to proliferate is not limited to stem cells alone but is also present as an unknown function of blood immune cells or monocytes. Monocytes, previously considered as differentiated cells, have the capacity to proliferate and generate a pool of their kind in the tissues to give rise to macrophage or important immune cells that protect us from viruses and microbes and support proper functioning of organs.  

Odoo text and image block
Odoo image and text block

This finding revolutionizes the concept regarding the involvement of cell proliferation in the formation and maintenance of our immune systems. It also meant blood tests, where enumeration of monocytes is done, reflects only a little of what is happening in the tissue level during infection or inflammation. The proliferation of these monocytes as they enter the tissues is controlled and does not result in a tumoral process - its primary function is to effectively replace macrophages.

Back To Top
We are fully compliant with the GDPR laws. We promise to safeguard your data and protect your privacy rights.