Studies of the Mechanism of Phagocytosis
A central problem in modern biology is how signals initiated at the cell’s surface alter cellular behavior. Mononuclear phagocytes are superb tools for studying this question. These cells have on their surfaces receptors for the Fc fragment of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and for the third component of complement (C3). Particles coated with these immunologically determined ligands bind via these ligands to macrophage membrane receptors. Signals generated by the interaction of particle bound ligands with their corresponding membrane receptors promote pseudopod extension and particle engulfment. As a phagocytic vacuole forms, the plasma membrane must rearrange its structure to form a sphere from a relatively flat sheet. When the advancing pseudopods meet to seal the phagocytic vacuole they fuse selectively with one another and not with membrane processes of adjacent cells.
KeywordsComplement Receptor Phagocytic Vacuole Macrophage Membrane Particle Engulfment Elicited Macrophage
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