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Learning objectives

  • Explain how leukocytes migrate from peripheral blood into infected tissues
  • Explain the mechanisms by which leukocytes recognize pathogens
  • Explain the process of phagocytosis and the mechanisms by which phagocytes destroy and degrade pathogens

Several of the cell types discussed in the previous section can be described as phagocytes—cells whose main function is to seek, ingest, and kill pathogens. This process, called phagocytosis , was first observed in starfish in the 1880s by Nobel Prize-winning zoologist Ilya Metchnikoff (1845–1916), who made the connection to white blood cells (WBCs) in humans and other animals. At the time, Pasteur and other scientists believed that WBCs were spreading pathogens rather than killing them (which is true for some diseases, such as tuberculosis). But in most cases, phagocytes provide a strong, swift, and effective defense against a broad range of microbes, making them a critical component of innate nonspecific immunity. This section will focus on the mechanisms by which phagocytes are able to seek, recognize, and destroy pathogens.

Extravasation (diapedesis) of leukocytes

Some phagocytes are leukocytes (WBCs) that normally circulate in the bloodstream. To reach pathogens located in infected tissue, leukocytes must pass through the walls of small capillary blood vessels within tissues. This process, called extravasation , or diapedesis , is initiated by complement factor C5a, as well as cytokines released into the immediate vicinity by resident macrophages and tissue cells responding to the presence of the infectious agent ( [link] ). Similar to C5a, many of these cytokines are proinflammatory and chemotactic, and they bind to cells of small capillary blood vessels, initiating a response in the endothelial cells lining the inside of the blood vessel walls. This response involves the upregulation and expression of various cellular adhesion molecules and receptors. Leukocytes passing through will stick slightly to the adhesion molecules, slowing down and rolling along the blood vessel walls near the infected area. When they reach a cellular junction, they will bind to even more of these adhesion molecules, flattening out and squeezing through the cellular junction in a process known as transendothelial migration . This mechanism of “rolling adhesion” allows leukocytes to exit the bloodstream and enter the infected areas, where they can begin phagocytosing the invading pathogens.

Note that extravasation does not occur in arteries or veins. These blood vessels are surrounded by thicker, multilayer protective walls, in contrast to the thin single-cell-layer walls of capillaries. Furthermore, the blood flow in arteries is too turbulent to allow for rolling adhesion. Also, some leukocytes tend to respond to an infection more quickly than others. The first to arrive typically are neutrophils , often within hours of a bacterial infection. By contract, monocytes may take several days to leave the bloodstream and differentiate into macrophages .

Questions & Answers

Explain about enzyme transportation
Shahla Reply
Enzyme transportation
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what is the infectious disease process
Patience Reply
what are differences between endotoxins and exotoxins
sabote Reply
endo toxins work in the nuceus. i think
tell me if im right tho
Exotoxins are toxic substances secreted by bacteria and released outside the cell. Both gram positive and gram negative bacteria can produce and secrete exotoxins. Whereas Endotoxins are bacterial toxins consisting of lipids that are located within a cell. Only lysed gram negatives.
Remebr the Lipid A portion of LPS is what's toxic.
oh yeah. thanks
Your welcome :)
How did you learn this?
For me personally the best book is 'microbiology made ridiculously simple'
I got my basics from there and slowly added information from other sources.
thats cool! yeah i like microbiology too! especially the molecular proteins theyre sooooooooooo cool!
what are the prokaryotic
Lungu Reply
prokaraytotic is a unicellular organizm that lacks membrane bound nucleus
and whats eukaryotic
eukaryotic cell are cell which contain anuclues and organells
eukaryotes are the cells that have organells which are protected by membranes
eukaryotic is are multicellular organisms which are open nucleus.
Explain on the Francisco reddi did to prove the theory of spontaneous generation
Diana Reply
what is parasite
Abdirizack Reply
parasite are organisms feeds on a host for food and survival.e.g round worm for animal, Dodder for plant parasites.
parasite are organisms that feeds on a host for food and survival.e.g round worm for animal and mistletoe for plant parasites.
parasite are organisms that feed on their host
designing of aseptic area
Aashish Reply
I don't know
what is rickettsia
what is microbiology
Is the science that works with microorganisms.
richettsa is small microorganisms that cause disease in human like typhus; they are like viruses that can grow only inside living cells, they're transmitted by mites, ticks or lices.
what is plasmid?
plasmid is extra chromosomal body present in bacteria...which have additional genetic functions example... antibiotic resistance genes....etc etc
state the theory of spontaneous generation of micro oranisms and germ theory of disease
what are the advantages of high note numerical aperture
Genius Reply
list if non flagellated pritozoa
Mepung Reply
Can someone that's understanding of the Kreb Cycle please explain & breakdown it down to me in the simplest way without giving me the dictionary version or Google version. Basically in there own words of knowledge....!
please can someone help explain positive and negative feedback in simple term
negative feedback is the arresting of reaction or reverse of the reaction according to the response and postive feed back is the direct response without reversing or arresting a reaction.
pls can someone explained Kinney stone in memorising in shot time
what tyoebif microorganism will be killed by antibiotic trwatmeant
Mary Reply
I don't really don't understand aerobic respiration anaerobic respiration and fermentation. Can someone explain & breakdown this in the simplest way please.
Anaerobic Respiration in which foodstuffs are partially oxidized, with the release of chemical energy, in a process not involving atmospheric oxygen, such as alcoholic fermentation, in which one of the end products is ethanol.
aerobic respiration A type of respiration in which foodstuffs are completely oxidized to carbon dioxide and water, with the release of chemical energy, in a process requiring atmospheric oxygen.
please can someone explain what pseudomonas species and biofilm is?
Fermentation is the growth of cells or microorganisms in bioreactors (fermenters) to synthesize special products. Fermentation in biochemistry refers to the biodegradation of carbon compounds by cells or organisms under anaerobic (lack of oxygen) conditions.
Please under which conditions does pathogens become established in the human tissues and can cause diseases
please the life cycle of plasmodium parasite
who is John Needham
Mary Reply
John Needham is one of the researcher in microbiology. He also experimented when scientists did not believe animals could arise spontaneously ,but did believe microbes could.
okay is he late
by the way what are the list of courses offered by a newly admitted student for microbiology
Needham's experiments with beef gravy and infusions of plants material reinforced this idea.
what drugs are given to a person with Otis nerve problem(ear problem)
Gum Reply
good morning to you all.
Muhammad Reply
Dr.A.K.S.P.G. college Akbarpur Ambedkar Nagar
Shailesh Vishwakarma BSc 1st year
Practice MCQ 3

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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