MONOCYTES: What are they and what are their normal values?

To protect ourselves from infections and other diseases, the body relies on the immune system, which is the body’s natural defense. The immune system, to carry out this great job of security and protection, has a set of cells called monocytes.

They are a type of white blood cells and, in particular, they are in charge of defending us against foreign bodies, be they bacteria or viruses. According to hematological studies, it has been established that between 2 and 10% of the white blood cells present in the blood are of this type.

They are produced by the bone marrow, where they remain in the bloodstream for several hours before leaving the blood and traveling to other tissues. After that brief stay in circulation, they travel to the lymph nodes, spleen and other internal cavities or places in the body where they change their name. In the liver, are known as Kupffer cells; in the nervous system, they are microglia and, in the epidermis, are Langerhans cells.

As they leave the blood and reach these tissues, they undergo a process of cellular differentiation, producing new cells called macrophages. These are responsible for destroying both microbes and pathogenic organisms such as defective cells and dead cells.

Regardless of where they are in our body, for medical science they are clear indicators of good health, because they help us maintain it. Therefore, it is essential to know what they are for and their normal values.


They are a type of white blood cells or leukocytes, with a single large round nucleus, produced in the bone marrow. They represent between 3 and 7% of all the white blood cells that exist in the body.

Changes in its presence in the blood indicate how healthy we are. If they are high, there is monocytosis, and if they are low, there is monocytopenia.

Principal function

The function of monocytes is to eliminate foreign organisms, as well as to eliminate defective or dead cells and, thus, keep us healthy. Thus, protect the body from attacks by external agents, like viruses or bacteria, ensuring that they do not harm our health.

After completing its cleaning job by eliminating pathogenic organisms, these cells die almost automatically, having an average life of just three days.

When they suffer alterations in our body, these cells can generate some inflammatory diseases such as arteriosclerosis or arthritis, by increasing their presence in the blood. Normally, abnormalities in the body due to large amounts of monocytes are more frequent than due to low amounts of them.

Normal values

The normal values ​​of monocytes They range from 2 to 10% of the total white blood cells, that is, from 300 to 900 monocytes per mm3 of blood, approximately.

Normally, changes in the number of this class of white blood cells do not cause symptoms in people, so these changes are only known through a blood test.

The normal values ​​that serve as a reference in a blood test are the following:

Normal values ​​in adults

In adults, normal values ​​range from 3 to 8% of white blood cells, that is, 150 to 800 monocytes per mm3 of blood.

Normal Values ​​in Children and Adolescents

In children and adolescents, normal values ​​range from 4 to 10% of white blood cells, that is, from 200 to 1,500 monocytes per mm3 of blood.

Normal values ​​in newborns

In newborn children, normal values ​​range from 4 to 10% of white blood cells, that is, from 360 to 3,000 monocytes per mm3 of blood.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *