Monocytes are a type of white blood cell and are part of the innate immune system of vertebrates including all mammals (including humans), birds, reptiles, and fish. Monocytes play multiple roles in immune function. Such roles include: (1) replenish resident macrophages and dendritic cells under normal states, and (2) in response to inflammation signals, monocytes can move quickly (approx. 8-12 hours) to sites of infection in the tissues and divide/differentiate into macrophages and dendritic cells to elicit an immune response. Half of them are stored in the spleen. Monocytes are usually identified in stained smears by their large kidney shaped or notched nucleus.
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