Phagocytes space a form of white blood cell that use phagocytosis come engulf bacteria, foreign particles, and dying cell to protect the body. They bind to pathogens and internalise lock in a phagosome, i m sorry acidifies and fuses with lysosomes in bespeak to ruin the contents.

You are watching: The most active phagocytic cells found in circulating blood are

They are a vital component of the natural immune system. There room three main teams of phagocytes: monocytes and also macrophages, granulocytes, and also dendritic cells, every one of which have actually a contempt different duty in the body.

This article shall take into consideration the various phagocytes current within the body, your structure, whereby they space located and also clinical conditions that may an outcome from your deficiency.


Monocytes room a type of phagocyte found in the bloodstream. They circulate approximately the body, and when a organization is infected or inflamed they might leave the bloodstream and enter the tissue.

In the organization they distinguish into macrophages, which kind the significant resident populace of phagocytes in typical tissues. Monocytes room phagocytic but due to the fact that most infections happen in tissues, the is the capacity of monocytes to differentiate that is an especially key. If a particular collection of signals space present, it is also feasible for monocytes to differentiate into dendritic cell in the tissues.

Monocytes room the largest type of phagocyte, v a kidney bean shame nucleus as soon as seen under a microscope.

By Bobjgalindo (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (>, via Wikimedia Commons

Fig 1 – Electron micrograph showing a monocyte surrounding by red blood cells.


Macrophages are acquired from monocytes and also are found in the tissues. They have actually a major role together a an initial defence system in phagocytosis of moving debris, microbes and also any other international substances.

They also assist initiate the adaptive immune solution by presenting antigens to T cells and secreting components to induce inflammation and also recruit other cells.

Macrophages might be termed differently depending upon their location: microglia are current in the CNS and Kupffer cells space in the liver.

By originally by Frevert U, Engelmann S, Zougbédé S, Stange J, Ng B, et al. Converted to SVG by Viacheslav Vtyurin that was hired to perform so by User:Eug. , via Wikimedia Commons

Fig 2 – Diagram mirroring the ar of Kupffer cells within the liver.

Dendritic Cells

The major function the dendritic cell is together a link between the innate and also the adaptive immune systems. As immature dendritic cells they take trip in the bloodstream and also migrate through tissues and also continually sample the pathogens they discover via macropinocytosis.

Following phagocytosis, the cell becomes mature and also migrates come a peripheral lymphoid organ such together a lymph node, the spleen, or gut-associated lymphoid organization to present the antigen come a T cell. This climate activates the T cell to begin an adaptive immune response.

Dendritic cells have the right to be recognised by the presence of multiple cytoplasmic projections from their surface, giving them a large surface area to volume ratio that aids close contact with many cells. These processes look comparable to the dendrites that neurons, which offered dendritic cells their name.

By Zhiguo.he (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons

Fig 3 – Dendritic cells (stained green) located in the corneal epithelium.


Granulocytes are a team of phagocytes with dense granules in their cytoplasm, and include neutrophils, eosinophils, and also basophils.

Neutrophils space the many phagocytic of these cells: they space the many abundant white blood cell, and can be determined by their granular cytoplasm and also lobulated nuclei (usually 2-5 lobules). They are developed from myeloid stem cells discovered within bone marrow.

They are normally uncovered within the bloodstream, however during the acute phase of infection they are among the first inflammatory cells to reach the site of infection. They are an especially specialised at killing intracellular pathogens as result of cytoplasmic granules v toxic building materials such as antimicrobial peptides, enzymes, and reactive oxygen species.

Neutrophils space short-lived cells and normally die adhering to phagocytosis and use of their granules – dying or dead neutrophils room a major part the the pus seen through infection. Neutrophils are additionally important because that inducing inflammation and also recruiting inflammation cells through release that cytokines and other inflammatory factors.

By Dr Graham Beards (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons

Fig 4 – Electron micrograph showing neutrophils top top a blood smear.

Clinical relevance – Neutropenia

Neutropenia is a low neutrophil (phagocyte) count, normally identified as less than 1.5 x 109/L. Neutropenia areas patients in ~ high danger of infections together they room a an essential component of inherent immunity. If patients room neutropenic and unwell they need urgent broad-spectrum antibiotics because of the hazard of this advancing to septic shock.

The reasons of neutropenia are varied:

Acute neutropenia (for less than 2 weeks) might be the result of a viral infection (HIV, CMV, EBV, influenza)Chronic neutropenia may be due to autoimmune obstacle (SLE), B12/folate deficiency, haematological disorders (leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma), medication, or ethnicity (benign in some civilization of Afro-Carribean or center Eastern descent)

If patients room not unwell or febrile, take into consideration ethnicity and also review the medicine history. Requesting a blood movie may identify infection, autoimmune conditions, or lymphoproliferative disorders. Various other investigations that may be beneficial include famous serology and autoantibodies.

See more: What Is The Ipde Defensive Driving Formula ? What Is The Ipde Process For Driving

If the only abnormality is isolated neutropenia, haematological malignancy is a fairly unusual explanation. Patients should be referred if over there is uncertainty of significant disease, progression, or breakthrough of other blood cell abnormalities.

By Roberto J. Galindo (Own Work: Foto tomada por Roberto J. Galindo) CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (>, via Wikimedia Commons