Dictionary > Phagocytosis

Phagocytosis

Definition
noun
The process of engulfing and ingestion of particles by the cell or a phagocyte (e.g. macrophage) to form a phagosome (or food vacuole), which in turn fuse with lysosome and become phagolysosome where the engulfed material is eventually digested or degraded and either released extracellularly via exocytosis, or released intracellularly to undergo further processing.
Supplement
Phagocytosis is the mechanism used by many protists (e.g. amoeba) to acquire nutrients. In humans and other multicellular animals, phagocytosis is an important defense mechanism against infection by microorganisms (e.g. bacteria) and the process of removing cell debris (e.g. dead tissue cells) and other foreign bodies.
Steps of a macrophage ingesting a pathogen:

a. Ingestion through phagocytosis, a phagosome is formed

b. The fusion of lysosomes with the phagosome creates a phagolysosome; the pathogen is broken down by enzymes

c. Waste material is expelled or assimilated.
Word origin: phago: G, comb. form akin to phageǐn to eat, devour + cyte: G. kutos, hollow vessel + -osis: expressing state or condition.

Related forms: phagocyte (noun), phagocytic (adjective) – as in “a phagocytotic cell”, phagocytose (verb) — as in “to phagocytose particles”.
Compare: pinocytosis.

See also: endocytosis, plasma membrane.


You will also like...

Consciousness and behavior
Consciousness and Behavior

Human consciousness and behavior are an interesting topic since they are determined and controlled by the brain. Conscio..

Cell Respiration
Cell Respiration

Cell respiration is the process of creating ATP. It is "respiration" because it utilizes oxygen. Know the different stag..

Schematic diagram of bacterial lactose operon
Gene Action – Operon Hypothesis

Learn how the way genes control and determine every aspect of the body. This lesson uses lac operon as an example. ..

..

Physical growth
Physical Development in Humans

This tutorial elaborates on the physical development of humans, particularly from puberty to adulthood. Read this tutori..

DNA molecule
Genetic Control – On and Off Genes

Genes are the blueprint of our bodies, a blueprint that creates a variety of proteins essential to any organism's surviv..

Cells in different stages of meiosis
Meiosis – The Genetics of Reproduction

Meiosis is a form of cell division that creates gametes. It is comprised of two divisions that in the end, the resulting..