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Phagocyte

Definition

noun, plural: phagocytes

Any of the cells specialized in engulfing and destroying foreign particles, as well as in removing waste particles and cell debris


Supplement

Phagocytes pertain to a group of cells capable of rendering protection against bacteria and other foreign particles inside the body. Through the process of phagocytosis, they are able to destroy microorganisms by engulfing them and encasing them into a vesicle (phagosome), which pinches off from the cell membrane, and then fuses with the lysosomes. When this happens, the foreign particles inside the vesicle are broken down and digested. Apart from microorganisms, the phagocytes ingest cell debris and certain waste particles. Thus, in humans and other vertebrates, they are crucial in keeping the body healthy by destroying pathogens and in removing dead (or apoptotic) cells.

Phagocytes include white blood cells of the immune system, such as monocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, and mast cells. Dendritic cells (i.e. antigen-presenting cells) are also capable of phagocytosis. In fact, they are called professional phagocytes because they are effective at it.1


Word origin: German phagocyten (coined by Dr. Elias Metchnikoff in 1884), from Greek phago- (devouring) + -cyte (from Latin –cyta, from Greek kutosmeaning container, body, hollow vessel)

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Related term(s):

Reference(s):
1Savina A, Amigorena S. Phagocytosis and antigen presentation in dendritic cells. Immunol Rev. 2007 Oct;219:143-56.


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Re: Answer this question. Coming from my module drills.

Phagocyte has lysozyme where the phagocytosis occur.

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by mavis
Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:35 am
 
Forum: Cell Biology
Topic: Answer this question. Coming from my module drills.
Replies: 3
Views: 2641

Re: Difference between T-Cell and Phagocyte?

Aptitude, that was a brilliant response. I was in microbiology class yesterday biting my tongue while the professor kept referring to B cells as phagocytes. Biology is all about using the proper terminology!

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by hymenoptera7
Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:40 am
 
Forum: Physiology
Topic: Difference between T-Cell and Phagocyte?
Replies: 10
Views: 50701

Re: Difference between T-Cell and Phagocyte?

I just joined this forum. I tried to use one of the two facts, biology noivce, as my username, but it was already taken. Then I used the other, here by chance. I liked your clarification for phagocytosis and endocytosis - answered one of my long time questions. I have some further questions if you ...

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by aptitude
Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:27 am
 
Forum: Physiology
Topic: Difference between T-Cell and Phagocyte?
Replies: 10
Views: 50701

Re: Difference between T-Cell and Phagocyte?

I just joined this forum. I tried to use one of the two facts, biology noivce, as my username, but it was already taken. Then I used the other, here by chance. I liked your clarification for phagocytosis and endocytosis - answered one of my long time questions. I have some further questions if you d...

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by herebychance
Tue May 03, 2011 7:30 pm
 
Forum: Physiology
Topic: Difference between T-Cell and Phagocyte?
Replies: 10
Views: 50701

Pathogen effect on Phagocytes

1/ sometimes yes, sometimes no 2/ It depends of the pathogen. Some pathogen have the ability to respond to the attempt of the phagocyte to kill them and will activate genes to try and prevent that. But not all have that kind of ability. 3/ Sadly yes phagocytes can be killed. Detailed ...

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by canalon
Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:54 pm
 
Forum: Cell Biology
Topic: Pathogen effect on Phagocytes
Replies: 1
Views: 934
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