Tissue macrophages: Heterogeneity and functions
© 2017 Gordon et al. Macrophages are present in all vertebrate tissues, from mid-gestation throughout life, constituting a widely dispersed organ system. They promote homeostasis by responding to internal and external changes within the body, not only as phagocytes in defence against microbes and in clearance of dead and senescent cells, but also through trophic, regulatory and repair functions. In this review, we describe macrophage phenotypic heterogeneity in different tissue environments, drawing particular attention to organ-specific functions.