Discovery of an unexpected function of blood immune cells: Their ability to proliferate

The ability of a cell to divide, to proliferate, is essential for life and gives rise to the formation of complex organisms from a single cell. It also allows the replacement of used cells from a limited number of 'stem' cells, which then proliferate and specialize. In cancer, however, cell proliferation is no longer controlled and becomes chaotic. Researchers have discovered that, in a healthy individual, certain blood immune cells, the monocytes, also have this ability to proliferate, with the aim to replace tissue macrophages, which are essential for the proper functioning of our body.