Phagocytes are cells that are found in the blood, bone marrow and other tissues of vertebrates. [ cite web|url= |title=LYMPHATIC SYSTEM AND IMMUNITY |accessdate=2008-10-04 |last=Farabee |first=M.J. |date=2001 ] These cells ingest and destroy foreign, particulate matter such as microorganisms and debris by a process called phagocytosis. They are important in the immunity and resistance to infection.Fact|date=October 2008 The word is derived from "cell eater" in Greek.Fact|date=October 2008


There are three main categories of phagocytes: [eMedicineDictionary|Phagocyte]
* macrophages (and monocytes)
* microphages, such as polymorphonuclear leukocytes (primarily neutrophils)
* dendritic cells


Phagocytes eat pathogens and are extremely useful as an initial immune system response to infection. They contain many lysosomes that enable them to digest foreign material. They engulf pathogens, debris, dead or dying cells and extracellular matrix. After engulfment into a phagosome, a lysosome which is filled with digestive enzymes (proteases) and oxygen radicals fuses with it to form the phagolysosome in which the phagocytosed material is digested. If the skin is broken, the first type of phagocyte that migrate to sites of injury are neutrophils. They fight bacteria by releasing cytotoxic granules and by phagocytosis. Phagocytosis is an active process in wound healing.

In pathogen phagocytosis, specialised antigen-presenting cells (B cells, dendritic cells and macrophages) present on their surfaces small peptides that resulted from the digestion, bound to MHC class II molecules. Helper T cells (CD4+) later recognize these antigens complemented with a second signal, and supplement the cell-mediated immune response.

Phagocytes can also induce apoptosis of normal and tumor cells, produce cationic proteins, complement components and clotting factors, arachidonic acid metabolites, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, thromboxanes, cytokines, proteases and hydrolases, reactive oxygen and nitrogen intermediates.

Resistance by pathogen

Many pathogens can delay or prevent the creation of the phagolysosome such as "Mycobacterium tuberculosis", "Salmonella typhi" and "Legionella". Others, such as the parasites of the genus "Leishmania", able to resist or circumvent being digested in the phagolysosome.

One function of T-helper cells is to activate phagocytes to digest intracellular pathogens.


The word "phagocyte" means "cell that eats", and originates from the Greek words "phagein", meaning 'eat', and "kytos", meaning 'hollow'. Because hollows of the cork are cells, it means "cell".


External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • phagocyte — [ fagɔsit ] n. m. • 1887; du gr. phagein « manger » et kutos « cellule »; cf. cyte ♦ Physiol. Cellule possédant la propriété d englober et de détruire, en les digérant, diverses particules étrangères, en particulier des micro organismes… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Phagocyte — Phag o*cyte, n. [Gr. ? to eat + ? a hollow vessel.] (Physiol.) A leucocyte which plays a part in retrogressive processes by taking up (eating), in the form of fine granules, the parts to be removed. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • phagocyte — phagocyte. См. фагоцит. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • phagocyte — 1884, from Gk. phago eating, devouring (see PHAGOUS (Cf. phagous)) + cyte (see CYTO (Cf. cyto )). Related: Phagocytosis …   Etymology dictionary

  • phagocyte — ► NOUN ▪ a type of body cell which engulfs and absorbs bacteria and other small particles. DERIVATIVES phagocytic adjective. ORIGIN from Greek phago eating + kutos vessel …   English terms dictionary

  • phagocyte — [fag′ə sīt΄] n. [ PHAGO + CYTE] any cell, esp. a leukocyte, that ingests and destroys other cells, microorganisms, or other foreign matter in the blood and tissues phagocytic [fag′ōsit′ik, fag′əsit′ik] adj …   English World dictionary

  • Phagocyte — Image au microscope électronique d un neutrophile (jaune, droite) phagocytant anthrax bacilli (orange, gauche) Phagocyte (aussi appelé cellule phagocytaire) signifie « mangeur de cellules ». On les compare parfois aux éboueurs de l… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • phagocyte — UK [ˈfæɡəʊsaɪt] / US [ˈfeɪɡəˌsaɪt] noun [countable] Word forms phagocyte : singular phagocyte plural phagocytes biology a cell in your body that gets rid of bacteria and other harmful cells by taking them into itself …   English dictionary

  • phagocyte — A cell possessing the property of ingesting bacteria, foreign particles, and other cells. Phagocytes are divided into two general classes: 1) microphages, polymorphonuclear leukocytes that ingest chiefly bacteria; 2) macrophages, mononucleated… …   Medical dictionary

  • Phagocyte bactericidal dysfunction — Infobox Disease Name = PAGENAME Caption = DiseasesDB = ICD10 = ICD9 = ICDO = OMIM = MedlinePlus = eMedicineSubj = eMedicineTopic = MeshID = D010585Phagocyte bactericidal dysfunction refers to a class of medical conditions where phagocytes have a… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”