Genetic Regulation of Macrophage Functions
Macrophages are characterized by a high capacity of phagocytosis of foreign particles. The engulfed material is then submitted to the rich enzyme equipment contained in their phagosomes. These cells have, thus, a crucial role in both non-specific and specific immunity. Phagocytosis and bactericidal power are the bases of non-specific defence, while uptake and processing of antigens are the first steps of the complex cell interactions constituting the specific immune responses. The two mechanisms may operate synergically since, for example, opsonins specific antibodies increase the rate of bacterial phagocytosis. Furthermore, other mediators, such as MIF, specifically released by lymphocytes, modify different macrophage functions.
KeywordsPhagocytic Activity Selective Breeding Macrophage Function Sheep Erythrocyte Phagocytic Function
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