The lamina propria of the gastrointestinal mucosa contains the largest population of mononuclear phagocytes in the body, yet little is known about the cellular mechanisms that regulate mononuclear cell recruitment to noninflamed and inflamed intestinal mucosa. Here, we show that intestinal macrophages do not proliferate. We also show that a substantial proportion of intestinal macrophages express chemokine receptors for interleukin (IL)-8 and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), and a smaller proportion expresses receptors for N-formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine and C5a, but, surprisingly, they do not migrate to the corresponding ligands. In contrast, autologous blood monocytes, which express the same receptors, do migrate to the ligands. Blood monocytes also migrate to conditioned medium (CM) derived from lamina propria extracellular matrix, which we show contains IL-8 and TGF-beta that are produced by epithelial cells and lamina propria mast cells. This migration is specific to IL-8 and TGF-beta, as preincubation of the stroma-CM with antibodies to IL-8 and TGF-beta significantly blocked monocyte chemotaxis to the stromal products. Together, these findings indicate that blood monocytes are the exclusive source of macrophages in the intestinal mucosa and underscore the central role of newly recruited blood monocytes in maintaining the macrophage population in noninflamed mucosa and in serving as the exclusive source of macrophages in inflamed mucosa.