reticuloendothelial system

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Related to reticuloendothelial system: reticuloendothelial cells


pertaining to the reticuloendothelium or to the reticuloendothelial system.
reticuloendothelial system a network of cells and tissues found throughout the body, especially in the blood, general connective tissue, spleen, liver, lungs, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. They have both endothelial and reticular attributes and the ability to take up colloidal dye particles. Some of the reticuloendothelial cells found in the blood and in the general connective tissue are unusually large in size. These cells are concerned with blood cell formation and destruction, storage of fatty materials, and metabolism of iron and pigment, and they play a role in inflammation and immunity. Some of the cells are motile—that is, capable of spontaneous motion—and phagocytic—they can ingest and destroy unwanted foreign material.

The reticuloendothelial cells of the spleen possess the ability to dispose of disintegrated erythrocytes. They do not, however, destroy hemoglobin, which is liberated in the process.

The reticuloendothelial cells located in the blood cavities of the liver are called Kupffer cells. These cells, together with the cells of the general connective tissue and bone marrow, are capable of transforming into bile pigment the hemoglobin released by disintegrated erythrocytes.
Reticuloendothelial system. From Frazier et al., 1996.


1. a set or series of interconnected or interdependent parts or entities (objects, organs, or organisms) that act together in a common purpose or produce results impossible by action of one alone.
2. an organized set of principles or ideas. adj., adj systemat´ic, system´ic.

The parts of a system can be referred to as its elements or components; the environment of the system is defined as all of the factors that affect the system and are affected by it. A living system is capable of taking in matter, energy, and information from its environment (input), processing them in some way, and returning matter, energy, and information to its environment as output.

An open system is one in which there is an exchange of matter, energy, and information with the environment; in a closed system there is no such exchange. A living system cannot survive without this exchange, but in order to survive it must maintain pattern and organization in the midst of constant change. Control of self-regulation of an open system is achieved by dynamic interactions among its elements or components. The result of self-regulation is referred to as the steady state; that is, a state of equilibrium. homeostasis is an assemblage of organic regulations that act to maintain steady states of a living organism.

A system can be divided hierarchically into subsystems, which can be further subdivided into sub-subsystems and components. A system and its environment could be considered as a unified whole for purposes of study, or a subsystem could be studied as a system. For example, the collection of glands in the endocrine system can be thought of as a system, each endocrine gland could be viewed as a system, or even specific cells of a single gland could be studied as a system. It is also possible to think of the human body as a living system and the endocrine system as a subsystem. The division of a system into a subsystem and its environment is dependent on the perspective chosen by the person studying a particular phenomenon.
Systems, subsystems, and suprasystems. Within the environment there are suprasystems, such as human society, and systems within the suprasystem, such as the educational and industrial systems and the health care delivery system. Within the health care delivery system are subsystems, such as the patient, family members, the nurse, the physician, and allied health care professionals and paraprofessionals.
alimentary system digestive system.
apothecaries' system see apothecaries' system.
autonomic nervous system see autonomic nervous system.
avoirdupois system see avoirdupois system.
behavioral system in the behavioral system model of nursing, the patterned, repetitive, and purposeful behaviors of an individual.
cardiovascular system the heart and blood vessels, by which blood is pumped and circulated through the body; see also circulatory system.
CD system (cluster designation) a system for classifying cell-surface markers expressed by lymphocytes based on a computer analysis of monoclonal antibodies against hla antigens, with antibodies having similar specificity characteristics being grouped together and assigned a number (CD1, CD2, CD3, etc.); these CD numbers are also applied to the specific antigens recognized by the various groups of monoclonal antibodies. See also CD antigen.
centimeter-gram-second system (CGS) (cgs) a system of measurements in which the units are based on the centimeter as the unit of length, the gram as the unit of mass, and the second as the unit of time.
central nervous system see central nervous system.
centrencephalic system the neurons in the central core of the brainstem from the thalamus to the medulla oblongata, connecting the cerebral hemispheres.
circulatory system see circulatory system.
client system in the general systems framework and theory of goal attainment, the composite of physiological, psychological, sociocultural, and developmental variables that make up the total person.
colloid system (colloidal system) colloid (def. 3).
conduction system (conductive system (of heart)) the system of atypical cardiac muscle fibers, comprising the sinoatrial and atrioventricular nodes, internodal tracts, atrioventricular bundle, bundle branch, and terminal ramifications into the Purkinje network.
digestive system see digestive system.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system a comprehensive program designed to provide services to the patient in the prehospital setting. The system is activated when a call is made to the EMS operator, who then dispatches an ambulance to the patient. The patient receives critical interventions and is stabilized at the scene. A communication system allows the health care workers at the scene to contact a trauma center for information regarding further treatment and disposition of the patient, followed by transportation of the patient to the most appropriate facility for treatment.
endocrine system the system of ductless glands and other structures that produce internal secretions (hormones) that are released directly into the circulatory system, influencing metabolism and other body processes; see endocrine glands.
environmental control system environmental control unit.
expert system a set of computer programs designed to serve as an aid in decision making.
extrapyramidal system see extrapyramidal system.
gateway system a software interface between an online searcher and one or more search systems, facilitating the use of the system by searchers who are unfamiliar with it, or with online retrieval in general.
genitourinary system the organs concerned with production and excretion of urine, together with the reproductive organs. (See Plates.) Called also urogenital system.
haversian system a haversian canal and its concentrically arranged lamellae, constituting the basic unit of structure in compact bone (osteon).
Haversian system: Structures of compact and spongy bone with the central haversian canal surrounded by the lamellae. From Applegate, 2000.
health care system see health care system.
heterogeneous system a system or structure made up of mechanically separable parts, as an emulsion or suspension.
His-Purkinje system the intraventricular conduction system from the bundle of His to the distal Purkinje fibers, which carries the impulse to the ventricles.
Home Health Care Classification system see home health care classification system.
homogeneous system a system or structure made up of parts that cannot be mechanically separated, as a solution.
hypophyseoportal system (hypophysioportal system) (hypothalamo-hypophysial portal system) the venules connecting the hypothalamus with the sinusoidal capillaries of the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland; they carry releasing substances to the pituitary.
immune system see immune system.
interpersonal system in the general systems framework and theory of goal attainment, two or more individuals interacting in a given situation.
lay health system a system comprising an informal referral network and sources of treatment outside the formal biomedical sources of health care; it includes individual consultation and information-seeking through significant others and peers concerning health behaviors, symptoms, and evaluation of treatment before, during, and after consultation with health care professionals.
legal system in the omaha system, anything connected with law or its administration; it includes legal aid, attorney, courts, or Child Protective Services (CPS), and many other agencies and officials.
limbic system a system of brain structures common to the brains of all mammals, comprising the phylogenetically old cortex (archipallium and paleopallium) and its primarily related nuclei. It is associated with olfaction, autonomic functions, and certain aspects of emotion and behavior.
lymphatic system see lymphatic system.
lymphoid system the lymphoid tissue of the body, collectively; it consists of primary (or central) lymphoid tissues, the bone marrow, and thymus, and secondary (or peripheral) tissues, the lymph nodes, spleen, and gut-associated lymphoid tissue (tonsils, Peyer's patches).
lymphoreticular system the lymphoid and reticuloendothelial systems considered together; see also lymphoreticular disorders.
metric system see metric system.
mononuclear phagocyte system the group of highly phagocytic cells that have a common origin from stem cells of the bone marrow and develop circulating monocytes and tissue macrophages, which develop from monocytes that have migrated to connective tissue of the liver (kupffer's cells), lung, spleen, and lymph nodes. The term has been proposed to replace reticuloendothelial system, which includes some cells of different origin and does not include all macrophages.
nervous system see nervous system.
nursing system in the self-care model of nursing, all the actions and interactions of nurses and patients in nursing practice situations; nursing systems fall into three categories: wholly compensatory, partly compensatory, and supportive-educative.
Omaha system see omaha system.
oxygen delivery system a device that delivers oxygen through the upper airways to the lungs at concentrations above that of ambient air. There are two general types: the fixed performance or high flow type, which can supply all of the needs of a patient for inspired gas at a given fractional inspired oxygen; and the variable performance or low flow type, which cannot supply all of the patient's needs for oxygen and delivers fractional inspired oxygen that varies with ventilatory demand.
parasympathetic nervous system see parasympathetic nervous system.
peripheral nervous system the portion of the nervous system consisting of the nerves and ganglia outside the brain and spinal cord.
personal system in the general systems framework and theory of goal attainment, the unified self, a complex whole that is rational, conscious, and feeling and that sets goals and decides on the means of achieving them.
pituitary portal system hypothalamo-hypophysial portal system.
portal system an arrangement by which blood collected from one set of capillaries passes through a large vessel or vessels and another set of capillaries before returning to the systemic circulation, as in the pituitary gland (the hypothalamo-hypophysial portal system) or the liver (the hepatic portal circulation).
renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system see renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.
respiratory system the group of specialized organs whose specific function is to provide for the transfer of oxygen from the air to the blood and of waste carbon dioxide from the blood to the air. The organs of the system include the nose, the pharynx, the larynx, the trachea, the bronchi, and the lungs. See also respiration and Plates 7 and 8.
reticular activating system see reticular activating system.
reticuloendothelial system see reticuloendothelial system.
safety system see safety system.
SI system see SI units.
skeletal system see skeletal system.
social system in the general systems framework and theory of goal attainment, an organized boundary system of social roles, behaviors, and practices developed to maintain balance for growth, development, and performance, which involves an exchange of energy and information between the person and the environment for regulation and control of stressors.
support system in the omaha system, the circle of friends, family, and associates that provide love, care, and need gratification; it may include church, school, workplace, or other groupings.
sympathetic nervous system see sympathetic nervous system.
Unified Medical Language system see unified medical language system.
Unified Nursing Language system see unified nursing language system.
unit dose system a method of delivery of patient medications directly to the patient care unit. Following review by a nurse, a copy of the physician's original order is sent to the pharmacy, where the pharmacist reviews it again. The pharmacist then fills the order and delivers the medication to the patient care unit, usually in a 24-hour supply. Each patient has an individual supply of medications prepared and labeled by the pharmacist.
urinary system the system formed in the body by the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra, the organs concerned in the production and excretion of urine.
urogenital system genitourinary system.
vascular system circulatory system.
vasomotor system the part of the nervous system that controls the caliber of the blood vessels.

re·tic·u·lo·en·do·the·li·al sys·tem (RES),

a collection of putative macrophages, first described by Aschoff based on their ability to phagocytose dye, which included most of the true macrophages (now classified under the mononuclear phagocytic system) as well as cells lining the sinusoids of the spleen, lymph nodes, and bone marrow, and the fibroblastic reticular cells of hematopoietic tissues; all these latter cells are only weakly phagocytic and are not true macrophages. The RES functions to remove particulates and soluble antigen from the bloodstream but it also generates numerous inflammatory mediators, in response to immunogenic stimulation. The term persists in the literature and is often equated with the mononuclear phagocytic system.

reticuloendothelial system

The widely diffused bodily system constituting all phagocytic cells except certain white blood cells. Also called mononuclear phagocyte system.

reticuloendothelial system (RES)

a functional rather than anatomical system of the body involved primarily in defense against infection and in disposal of the products of the breakdown of cells. It is made up of macrophages; the Kupffer cells of the liver; and the reticulum cells of the lungs, bone marrow, spleen, and lymph nodes. Disorders of this system include eosinophilic granuloma, Gaucher's disease, Hand's disease, and Niemann-Pick disease.

reticuloendothelial system

An obsolescent term for the widespread system of protective MACROPHAGE (phagocyte) cells and endothelial cells found in the bone marrow, liver, spleen and elsewhere. The cells of the reticuloendothelial system include HISTIOCYTES, MONOCYTES, the KUPFFER CELLS of the liver and lung macrophages.

reticuloendothelial system



complex of functionally related anatomical structures
  • autonomic nervous system; ANS that part of the motor system investing smooth muscle of internal structures, e.g. organs, heart and vascular muscle, and gland cells; ANS is divided into sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (paraSNS)

  • cardiovascular system heart, and all blood vessels (arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, veins)

  • central nervous system; CNS brain and spinal cord

  • circulatory system see system, vascular

  • digestive system alimentary tract from mouth to anus, and associated glands/organs

  • endocrine system all hormone-secreting tissues

  • extrapyramidal system; extrapyramidal motor system collective term denoting corpus striatum (basal ganglia), substantia nigra and subthalamic nucleus, plus descending connections to midbrain structures, and indirect connections to rhomboencephalic and spinal motor neurones; i.e. all central nervous system areas that affect motor function (motor cortex, and pyramidal [corticobulbar and corticospinal] tracts) but excluding upper motor neurones

  • limbic system array of brain structures adjacent to medial wall of cerebral hemispheres and their hypothalamic connections, influencing endocrine and autonomic function, motivational and mood states

  • lymphatic system lymphatic vessels and capillaries, lymph glands and lymphoid tissue

  • nervous system brain, spinal cord, all nerves and ganglia; i.e. collective term for central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system

  • neuromuscular system somatic musculature and associated motor neurones and nerves

  • parasympathetic nervous system; paraSNS part of ANS whose preganglionic motor neurones form the brainstem visceral motor ganglia and sacral lateral column ganglia

  • peripheral nervous system; PNS afferent peripheral sensory and efferent lower motor neurones that form the part of the nervous system outside the CNS

  • portal system blood vessels originating in one capillary bed and terminating in a second capillary bed without passing through the heart, e.g. pituitary hypophysis portal system (carrying hypothalamic trophic hormones to pituitary) or hepatic portal system (carrying nutrient-rich blood from gut wall to liver)

  • reticuloendothelial system range of macrophage-like cells within different tissues and organs, functioning as tissue-specific macrophages, e.g. Kupffer cells (in connective tissues and lymphatic structures), histiocytes (in connective tissues, e.g. dermis), alveolar phagocytes (in lung) and microglia (in nervous tissue)

  • sympathetic nervous system part of ANS whose preganglionic motor neurones lie within lateral column of thoracic, first and second lumbar segments of spinal cord

  • urinary system kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra

  • vascular system; circulatory system cardiovascular and lymphatic systems

reticuloendothelial system (reˈ·ti·ky·lō·en·d·thēˑ·lē·l sisˑ·tm),

n a functional system of the body primarily involved in defending the body against infection and disposing the end products of cellular breakdown. It comprises the Kupffer cells within the liver; macrophages; and the reticulum cells of the bone marrow, lungs, lymph nodes, and spleen. Gaucher's disease, eosinophilic granulmoa and Niemann-Pick disease are due to dysfunctions in this system. Also called

reticuloendothelial system

a term that encompasses the monocyte-macrophage or mononuclear phagocytic system and also includes reticulum cells. It consists of a population of cells called macrophages, which are of bone marrow origin and are widely distributed throughout the body. Immature macrophages or monocytes make up about 5% of peripheral blood leukocytes. Mature macrophages are found in connective tissue (histiocytes), lining hepatic sinusoids (Kupffer cells), in the lung (alveolar macrophages), brain (microglia) and skin (Langerhans cells). They are also found in the spleen, lymph nodes and bone marrow. The major roles of these cells include: phagocytosis, antigen-processing and trapping, regulation of immune responses and the secretion of several biologically important factors such as interleukin 1, lysozyme, plasminogen activator and complement components.
The macrophages of the spleen possess the ability to dispose of disintegrated erythrocytes. They do not, however, destroy hemoglobin, which is liberated in the process.
Kupffer cells, together with the cells of the general connective tissue and bone marrow, are capable of transforming into bile pigment the hemoglobin released by disintegrated erythrocytes.
References in periodicals archive ?
After several repetitions of this procedure, it should be possible to cull a population of phages ignored by the reticuloendothelial system.
Systemic examination was normal including the reticuloendothelial system.
Effcet of aflatoxin B1 on the delayed type hypersensitivity and phagocytic activity of reticuloendothelial system in chickens.
Both haptoglobin and hemopexin ultimately deliver heme to the cells of the reticuloendothelial system, activating another protective process.
6] It may be caused by activation and uncontrolled non-malignant proliferation of T lymphocytes and macrophages with hemophagocytosis throughout the reticuloendothelial system.
Even if the reaction is not severe, delayed haemolysis in the extravascular reticuloendothelial system can cause renal failure, acute coronary syndrome and coagulation failure.
3] Pathogenesis is unclear but theories include development of embryonic mesenchymal remnants, metaplasia of the reticuloendothelial system and emboli of active bone marrow.
The iron is then either trapped in the enterocytes and sloughed into the gastrointestinal tract, or it is trapped in the macrophages of the reticuloendothelial system.
Hemophagocytic syndrome or hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a clinical condition characterized by infiltration of the bone marrow and reticuloendothelial system by macrophages and activated histiocytes, leading to uncontrolled phagocytosis of platelets, erythrocytes, lymphocytes and precursor cells.
The hallmark of HPS is the accumulation of activated macrophages that phagocyte hematopoietic cells in the reticuloendothelial system.
ACD is immune driven where inflammatory cytokines and cells of the reticuloendothelial system (RES) induce changes in iron homeostasis, the proliferation of erythroid progenitor cells, the production of erythropoietin (EPO), and the life span of the red cell.