Last reviewed 01/2018

A histiocyte is any macrophage which is stationary within connective tissue. It displays finger-like projections of its surface folds to permit contact with passing particles. It carries out a scavenging, phagocytic role at its site of tethering. Examples include:

  • Kuppfer cells within the liver
  • microglia within the central nervous system
  • alveolar macrophages within the alveolar wall
  • pleural and peritoneal macrophages within serous cavities
  • osteoclast within bone
  • Langerhans cell within the epidermis

Disorders of histiocytes are termed histiocytosis. Tumours of histiocytes are histiocytomas.