Essential to the dendritic cell system of antigen-presenting cells are the veiled dendritic cells that traverse afferent lymph to enter lymph nodes, where they initiate immune responses. The origin of veiled cells, which were discovered 20 years ago, is unclear. Monocytes cultured with endothelium differentiated into dendritic cells within 2 days, particularly after phagocytosing particles in subendothelial collagen. These nascent dendritic cells migrated across the endothelium in the ablumenal-to-lumenal direction, as would occur during entry into lymphatics. Monocytes that remained in the subendothelial matrix became macrophages. Therefore, monocytes have two potential fates associated with distinct patterns of migration.
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