Macrophages in endocrine glands with emphasis on pancreatic islets

Emil R. Unanue

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


That macrophages normally inhabit endocrine organs became evident from the early studies in mice made in the laboratories of Siamon Gordon and David Hume (1). They used the macrophage surface marker F4/80 to examine tissue sections by immunohistochemistry and found macrophages in all endocrine organs. In most organs, the macrophages were found associated with the vessels. To note are several important examples. In the adrenal gland, the zona glomerulosa contained abundant macrophages that “wrapped around capillaries or line vascular sinuses, but membrane processes extend into the surrounding tissue." In the pituitary, they found them distributed differentially in the various areas. In the thyroid, many surrounded the follicles. In the testes, the macrophages were next to the Leydig cells and not inside the seminiferous tubules. In the ovaries, macrophages were abundant around follicles and usually surrounding the vessels.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMyeloid Cells in Health and Disease
Subtitle of host publicationA Synthesis
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781683670667
ISBN (Print)9781555819187
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Autoimmune disease
  • Endocrine-resident macrophages
  • Pancreatic islets
  • Pancreatic macrophages
  • Phagocytic theory
  • Reproductive organs


Dive into the research topics of 'Macrophages in endocrine glands with emphasis on pancreatic islets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this