A histiocyte is a type of immune cell. It destroys foreign substances to protect the body from infection.
Histiocytes do not travel through the blood. Instead, they remain in one part of the body.
Histiocytes are found in many organs and tissues, including the:
- Breast tissue
- Lymph nodes
An abnormal number of histiocytes leads to a disease called Langerhans cell histiocytosis (previously called histiocytosis X).
Crow MK. The innate immune system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 45.
Hall JE. Resistance of the body to infection. In: Hall JE, ed. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 34.
Review Date 4/17/2018
Updated by: Stuart I. Henochowicz, MD, FACP, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, Georgetown University Medical School, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.