The macrophage-histiocytic system is primarily concerned with the phagocytosis and degradation either of foreign material that enters the organism or of senile and damaged cells belonging to the organism itself. The system includes various kinds of cells with the common ability to process and eventually degrade and digest the ingested material. Two morphological characteristics of these cells are linked to their phagocytic functions: intra-cytoplasmic vacuoles and lysosomes. Although endothelial and fibroblastic cells can ingest particles, it seems that most cells of the macrophage-histiocytic system belong to the monocyte series. The stem cell of the system is still a matter for discussion and the mature cells have attracted a large and confusing array of names. Most of the experimental work with irradiation has involved macrophages of the peritoneal cavity and lymph nodes. It is likely that the other cells of the macrophage-histiocytic system are affected in the same way by irradiation, but this is not certain.