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A photograph of a monocyte

Monocytes are a type of white blood cell, they range from 13 μm to 25 μm in diameter and are distinguishable from their kidney-shaped nucleus. Monocytes originate from the common myeloid progenitor which differentiates to become a granulocyte and then a monocyte. Monocytes are a phagocytic cell found in the blood, they enter tissues and differentiate to form phagocytic Macrophages[1]. Once matured monocytes are often found in the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, and loose connective tissue [2][3]. One key role monocytes play in immunity is the ability to differentiate into 2 different cell types - dendritic cells & tissue macrophages[4].


  1. Murphy, K. (2012) Janeway's Immunobiology, 8th Edition, New York: Garland Science. p.4-6
  2. Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary, 2012 found at:
  3. Photograph of monocyte available from:

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