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f4 80 macrophages
Tissue macrophages are a heterogeneous cell population residing in all body tissues that contribute to the maintenance of homeostasis and trigger immune activation in response to injurious stimuli. This heterogeneity may be associated with tissue-specific functions; however, the presence of distinct macrophage populations within the same microenvironment indicates that macrophage heterogeneity may also be influenced outside of tissue specialization. The F4/80 molecule was established as a unique marker of murine macrophages when a monoclonal antibody was found to recognize an antigen exclusively expressed by these cells. However, recent research has shown that F4/80 is expressed by other immune cells and is not equivalently expressed across tissue-specific macrophage lineages, including those residing in the same microenvironment, such as the peritoneum and spleen. In this context, two murine macrophage subtypes with distinct F4/80 expression patterns were recently found to coexist in the peritoneum, termed large peritoneal macrophages (LPMs) and small peritoneal macrophages (SPMs). However, the presence of phenotypic and functional heterogeneous macrophage subpopulations in the spleen was already known. Thus, although F4/80 surface expression continues to be the best method to identify tissue macrophages, additional molecules must also be examined to distinguish these cells from other immune cells.