The process of ingestion and digestion by cells of solid substances, e.g., other cells, bacteria, bits of necrosed tissue, foreign particles. SEE ALSO: endocytosis. [phagocyte + G. -osis, condition]
- induced p. p. occurring when bacteria are subjected to the action of opsonins in blood and then brought in contact with leukocytes.
- spontaneous p. p. occurring when a culture of bacteria is brought in contact with washed leukocytes in an indifferent medium, such as a physiologic salt solution.

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phago·cy·to·sis .fag-ə-sə-'tō-səs, -sī- n, pl -to·ses -.sēz the engulfing and usu. the destruction of particulate matter by phagocytes that serves as an important bodily defense mechanism against infection by microorganisms and against occlusion of mucous surfaces or tissues by foreign particles and tissue debris
phago·cy·tot·ic -'tät-ik adj

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the engulfment and digestion of bacteria and other foreign particles by a cell (see phagocyte). Compare pinocytosis.

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phago·cy·to·sis (fa″go-si-toґsis) endocytosis of particulate material, such as microorganisms or cell fragments. The material is taken into the cell in membrane-bound vesicles (phagosomes) that originate as pinched-off invaginations of the plasma membrane. Phagosomes fuse with lysosomes, forming phagolysosomes in which the engulfed material is killed and digested. See phagocyte. phagocytotic adj

Phagocytosis. iNOS, Inducible nitric oxide synthase; NO, nitric oxide; ROS, reactive oxygen species.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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