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Examples of Phagocytosis

[Summary]Which White Blood Cells Are Phagocytes? | LIVESTRONG.COM Neutrophils Special stem cells in the bone marrow give rise to neutrophils, also known as polymorphonuclear leukocytes or PMNs. Neutrophils are normally the most abundant white blood cells (WBC

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Which White Blood Cells Are Phagocytes? | LIVESTRONG.COM

Neutrophils

Special stem cells in the bone marrow give rise to neutrophils, also known as polymorphonuclear leukocytes or PMNs. Neutrophils are normally the most abundant white blood cells (WBCs) in the circulation, accounting for roughly 50 to 70 percent. Phagocytosis is the primary function of neutrophils, and they are highly effective and efficient at performing this role. Special features of these cells reflect their adaptation for phagocytic function. The neutrophil surface has proteins that help it attach to an invading organism, especially bacteria. The neutrophil then surrounds the invader, engulfing it. Once the organism is engulfed, the neutrophil releases enzymes and other chemicals to kill and digest the organism. The phagocytic function of neutrophils is part of the immune system's first line of defense against bacterial infections.

Phagocytosis

Phagocytosis

Several types of cells in the immune system engulf microorganisms via phagocytosis.

Neutrophils. Neutrophils are abundant in the blood, quickly enter tissues, and phagocytize pathogens in acute inflammation.

Macrophages. Macrophages are closely related to monocytes in the blood. These longer-lived cells predominate in chronic inflammation. They also release some important inflammatory paracrines. (See below.)

Endocytosis

All Eukaryotic Cells Constantly Ingest Fluid and Molecules by Pinocytosis

In contrast to phagocytosis, pinocytosis begins with small, convex pits on the cell surface that collect material or fluid to be internalized. The convex pits expand into the interior of the cell forming small vesicles that pinch from the inside of the plasma membrane. All eukaryotic cells have a continuous stream of vesicles budding from the plasma membrane. The constant removal of membrane from the plasma membrane would quickly deplete the plasma membrane if not for the balancing effects of another continual process called exocytosis. Exocytosis is the process by which vesicles from inside the cell fuse with the plasma membrane to secrete material and fluid. So, pinocytosis brings fluid and material into the cell and removes membrane from the plasma membrane, while exocytosis expels fluid and mate-rial from the cell while adding membrane to the plasma membrane. Thus, the two processes work together to continuously recycle the plasma membrane.

Nonspecific Defense

Cellular Defenses

Natural killer cells and macrophages are examples of nonspecific cellular defenses. Natural killer cells are a class of lymphocytes that recognize abnormal cells (such as cancerous cells or virus-infected cells), attach to them, and release chemicals that destroy them.

Macrophages, neutrophils, and eosinophils are examples of phagocytes. In their attempt to defend the body, some phagocytes stay within a tissue and others travel freely throughout the body. However, all phagocytes are attracted to sites of tissue damage. In a process called phagocytosis, these cells surround debris or a foreign invader, bringing it inside the cell. The phagocyte then uses special enzymes to digest the material.

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