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A cell that can ingest bacteria, foreign particles, and other cells. Phagocytes ingest and kill microbes, present antigen to lymphocytes, scavenge degenerating material, and release mediators. classes: 1) microphages, polymorphonuclear leukocytes that ingest chiefly bacteria; 2) macrophages, mononucleated cells (histiocytes and monocytes) that are largely scavengers, ingesting dead tissue and degenerated cells.
[phago- + G. kytos, cell]
Etymology: ME, scavager + L, cella, storeroom
a phagocytic cell that removes tissue debris and some invading pathogens. It may or may not be mobile.
scavenger cellA nonspecific term for a phagocytic cell; macrophage.
see gitter cells.