Differentiation of circulating monocytes into fibroblast-like cells.
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Monocytes are produced in the bone marrow and enter the blood. They generally leave the blood and enter a tissue, and then become macrophages. In healing wounds, circulating monocytes also enter the tissue and instead of becoming macrophages, can differentiate into fibroblast-like cells called fibrocytes. Fibrocytes are also present in the lesions associated with fibrosing diseases such as congestive heart failure, end stage kidney disease, and pulmonary fibrosis. We have found that culturing blood monocytes, or white blood cell preparations containing monocytes, in serum-free media permits some of the monocytes to differentiate into fibrocytes within 5 days, and that this differentiation is inhibited by the blood plasma protein serum amyloid P.