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In the present study, the peripheral blood cells of half smooth tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis) were examined by blood smear under the light microscopy. The proportion of main types of blood cells are as following: erythrocyte occupied the majority (92.3%), followed by thrombocyte (4.15%), granulocyte (1.7%), lymphocyte (1.5%) and monocyte (0.3%), respectively. Meanwhile, the isolation method of monocytes was established, by density gradient centrifugation to isolate mononuclear leukocytes of peripheral blood. In primary culture, the monocytes were adhered to the bottom of the flask without feeder cells and separated easily with suspended leukocytes in the medium in 3 h. After suspended leukocytes were removed, the monocytes multiplied rapidly with the two doubly during the 24 h, then the cells proliferated and kept stable until 48 h. When co-cultured with suspended leukocytes after three days, the monocytes could derive to typical macrophages, of which the size enlarged significantly and showed various forms such as like fried eggs, and giant irregular shape with pseudopod because cells fusion or deformation occurred until macrophages died in about two weeks. Monocytes showed strong respiratory burst activity after treated with Phorbol ester PMA and challenged by bacteria respectively. In addition, macrophage of half smooth tongue sole had typical macrophage features such as phagocytic capability, positive esterase activity, and the considerable expression of M-CSFR, MHC-II, IL-6, IL-10, TNF and arginase genes. That arginase expression in macrophages (3d and 5d after differentiation) was upregulated fluctuant suggest that the cultivation was mixture of alternatively activated type macrophage (M2) in the majority while the classically activated type (M1) win the minority. Furthermore, MHC-II, M-CSFR and IL-6 were significantly induced following LPS challenge. Collectively, the present study will be useful for the study on half smooth tongue sole immune systems and immune function.Five main types of blood cells were identified in Cynoglossus semilaevis.Monocytes from half smooth tongue sole peripheral blood were isolated and cultured in vitro.Monocytes showed strong respiratory burst after challenged by PMA or bacteria.Monocyte derived to M2 type macrophages mainly when co-cultured with leukocytes of blood.Macrophages of half smooth tongue sole had typical features in shape, phagocytosis, esterase activity.