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Abstract

Macrophages isolated from various tissues manifest differences in cell shape, the expression of surface markers, as well as metabolic and functional activities. However, the heterogeneity of macrophages expressing the same marker in different tissues has not been fully addressed. In the present study, mouse F4/80+ peritoneal exudate macrophages (PEMs) and splenic macrophages (SPMs) appeared similar in most respects. But the percentages of cells expressing CD80, CD40, MHC-II, TLR2, or TLR4, but not CD11c, CD54, or CD23, in freshly isolated F4/80+ SPMs were significantly higher than those in PEMs, whereas the levels of CD86+ cells in F4/80+ SPMs were markedly lower than those in PEMs. After lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation, F4/80+ SPMs expressed significantly higher levels of CD86, CD40, or MHC-II than F4/80+ PEMs, but not CD11c, CD80, CD54, or CD23. F4/80+ SPMs had remarkably lower non-opsonic phagocytotic capacity against chicken RBCs or allo-T cells than PEMs as determined by two-photon microscopes and flow cytometry. SPMs produced markedly more NO than PEMs when cultured with LPS or allo-T cells. Furthermore, SPMs exhibited stronger immunogenicity than PEMs, as determined by the ability to stimulate T cell proliferation, delayed type hypersensitivity, and IFN-γ production. The data showed the differences between SPMs and PEMs with regard to the phenotypes, phagocytosis, and immunogenicity, which may offer important information for us to better understand the distinguished immune responses of macrophages in spleens and the peritoneal cavity. J. Cell. Physiol. 209: 341–352, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.