Physiology and Biochemistry of Phagocytic Cells

  • Zanvil A. Cohn


I would like to review with you some of the properties of phagocytic cells. I’ll focus on two of the most important, the polymorphonuclear leucocytes of man and the system of mononuclear phagocytes including the tissue macrophage. These cells are of critical importance to our survival and are involved in all forms of defense against infection. They are involved in both acute and chronic forms of inflammation, in tissue remodeling and wound repair, in the turnover of normal body constituents and therefore in a variety of both physiological and pathological processes. I’ll begin by defining the scope of our review with Table I which delineates the various steps necessary for these cells to carry out their roles. First, we will be comparing the similarities and differences between the two major phagocytes in terms of the production phase - the formation of sufficient numbers of cells to be reactive in the tissues. Next, we will consider the delivery of these cells to the periphery and finally, the effector event characterized in this case by the process of endocytosis, the post-endocytic events of intralysosomal digestion and the more recently recognized properties of the macrophages - the secretion of macro-molecules.


Phagocytic Cell Mononuclear Phagocyte Polymorphonuclear Leucocyte Local Inflammatory Response Acid Hydrolase 
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Selected Bibliography

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    Stossel, T. P., Phagocytosis: Recognition and Ingestion Seminars in Hematology 12 No. 1:83, 1975.Google Scholar
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    Gordon, S., and Z. A. Cohn, The Macrophage, Int. Rev. Cytol. 36:171, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Steinman, R. M., and Z. A. Cohn, The Metabolism and Physiology of the Mononuclear Phagocytes, in The Inflammatory ProcessGoogle Scholar
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    B. W. Zweifach, L. Grant, and R. T. McCluskey, eds.), Academic, New York, 1:449, 1974.Google Scholar
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    Silverstein, S., R. M. Steinman and Z. A. Cohn, Endocytosis, Ann. Rev. Biochem., in press, 1977.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zanvil A. Cohn
    • 1
  1. 1.The Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA

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