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Figure 1-4: Phagocytosis

Phagocytosis is a process describing the engulfment and destruction of extracellularly-derived materials by phagocytic cells, such as macrophages and neutrophils. Five steps of phagocytosis are illustrated in the image below.

Phagocytosis of bacteria Schematic diagram of the steps in phagocytosis:
  1. Attachment of the bacterium to the long membrane evaginations, called pseudopodia.
  2. Ingestion of the bacterium forming a "phagosome," which moves toward the lysosome.
  3. Fusion of the lysosome and phagosome, releasing lysosomal enzymes into the phagosome.
  4. Digestion of the ingested material.
  5. Release of digestion products from the cell.
© 1997, Duane W. Sears

Kuby: Immunology

W. H. Freeman & Co. and Sumanas, Inc.
Immunology, January, 1997

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