Dense monolayers of large, adherent macrophages were prepared from the red pulp of mouse spleen. These sinus-lining phagocytes resembled liver Kupffer cells in morphology, as well as expression of F4/80 and class II MHC antigens and receptors for IgG. C3-coated red cells attached at low levels to spleen macrophages, but attachment and endocytosis were enhanced on fibronectin-coated surfaces. The ionophore A23187 induced spleen macrophages to synthesize prostaglandin E2, but like Kupffer cells, spleen macrophages did not synthesize leukotrienes and made relatively small amounts of HETE and 12-hydroxyheptadecanoic acid. Resident spleen macrophages did not produce H2O2, but splenic inflammatory cells, induced by infection of animals with Listeria monocytogenes, actively released H2O2. We conclude that the functional properties of resident, sinusoidal-lining macrophages in liver and spleen are similar to one another but distinct from other pools of phagocytes.

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