Standard Article


Cell Biology

  1. Rebecca M. Henry,
  2. Joel A. Swanson

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200400100

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Henry, R. M. and Swanson, J. A. 2006. Phagocytosis. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Phagocytosis, the process by which eukaryotic cells internalize other cells, cell fragments, protein aggregates, and foreign bodies, has an essential role in physiology. In primitive organisms, it is primarily used for acquisition of nutrients, whereas, in higher organisms, it occurs in specialized cells such as monocytes and neutrophils and is required for a wide variety of biological events. These include clearance of infectious agents and senescent cells, and tissue repair and remodeling. Because phagocytosis is essential for survival and homeostasis, complex signaling pathways have evolved both to regulate the engulfment process and to couple uptake of particulate material with appropriate cellular responses. Many pathogens manipulate the signaling pathways involved in phagocytosis to avoid phagocytic killing and to establish intracellular infections within phagocytes.


  • Apoptosis;
  • Cytoskeleton;
  • Endocytosis;
  • Endosome;
  • Lysosome;
  • Opsonin;
  • Phagocyte;
  • Phagosome;
  • Pseudopod