[Frontiers in Bioscience 2, d232-241, June 1, 1997]
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THE COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY OF PULMONARY INTRAVASCULAR MACROPHAGES

Kim E. Longworth, Ph.D.

Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine University of California, Davis, CA

Received 4/11/97; Accepted 5/21/97

1. ABSTRACT

Pulmonary intravascular macrophages are an important part of the mononuclear phagocyte system in some species of mammals, mainly sheep and other ruminants, pigs, and horses. These cells phagocytize foreign particles, cell debris and pathogens that pass through the pulmonary circulation. Species with intravascular macrophages localize intravenously injected tracer particles and bacteria predominantly in the lung rather than the liver, and exhibit pulmonary hypertension when these cells are activated. Both in vivo and in vitro studies show that pulmonary intravascular macrophages have distinct secretory and immune capabilities. Consequently, the pulmonary intravascular macrophages play an important role in pulmonary inflammation in species that have them.