Separate ontogeny of two macrophage-like accessory cell populations in the human fetus.J Immunol. 1986 Jun 15; 136(12):4354-61.JI
Human macrophage-like accessory cells were analyzed as they emerge in the absence of extrinsic antigens during fetal development. Monoclonal antibodies to monocytes/macrophages were used in combination with antibodies to HLA class II molecules. In the yolk sac and mesenchyme sampled at wk 4 to 6 of fertilization age, cells with dendritic morphology formed two populations distinguishable by phenotypic criteria: type i (majority) carried both macrophage-associated (RFD7+) and monocyte-associated markers (UCHM1+) but no detectable HLA-DR antigen, and type ii (minority) constitutively expressed class II (HLA-DR and -DP) but no RFD7 and UCHM1. The emergence of this heterogeneity preceded the formation of both thymus and bone marrow. During additional development, type i and type ii cells seeded to different microenvironments and underwent some additional phenotypic changes. Cells of type i, the RFD7+ population with high lysosomal (acid phosphatase) activity, were seen in the thymic cortex, marginal zone of lymph nodes, splenic red pulp, and in the midst of erythropoietic activity within the bone marrow. These cells were UCHM1- and class II-. Cells of type ii formed the population of HLA-DR+, RFD7- interdigitating cells, early inhabitants of T cell areas in the developing thymic medulla, lymph nodes, spleen, and tonsil. The Type ii cells that had already settled in their nichès expressed not only HLA-DR and -DP but also HLA-DQ, and another class II antigen identified by the antibody RFD1, which shows the restricted tissue distribution of HLA-DQ, but is governed by genes that are outside of and telomeric to the HLA-DQ region (or HLA-DR). Finally, subpopulations of macrophages (RFD7+, acid phosphatase-positive) in the fetal gastrointestinal and hepatic systems were HLA-DR+; the latter appear to include precursors of Kupffer cells in the developing liver.