Monocytes are one of the three major types of white blood cells that help fight infection and disease. They travel through the blood and into tissues, where they become either macrophages or dendritic cells. Each plays a role in immune system response.
Like all white blood cells, monocytes are made in the bone marrow. Under normal circumstances, the spleen stores a huge reserve of monocytes. When injury or inflammation occurs, the monocytes leave the spleen and head to the peripheral tissues. They differentiate into microphages or dendritic cells as needed to control the spread of disease or infection.
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