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    Phagocytosis is a pivotal immunological process, and its discovery by Elia Metchnikoff in 1882 was a step toward the establishment of the innate immune system as a separate branch of immunology. Elia Metchnikoff received the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine for this discovery in 1908. Since its discovery almost 140 years before, phagocytosis remains the hot topic of research in immunology. The phagocytosis research has seen a great advancement since its first discovery. Functionally, phagocytosis is a simple immunological process required to engulf and remove pathogens, dead cells and tumor cells to maintain the immune homeostasis. However, mechanistically, it is a very complex process involving different mechanisms, induced and regulated by several pattern recognition receptors, soluble pattern recognition molecules, scavenger receptors (SRs) and opsonins. These mechanisms involve the formation of phagosomes, their maturation into phagolysosomes causing pathogen destruction or antigen synthesis to present them to major histocompatibility complex molecules for activating an adaptive immune response. Any defect in this mechanism may predispose the host to certain infections and inflammatory diseases (autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases) along with immunodeficiency. The article is designed to discuss its mechanistic complexity at each level, varying from phagocytosis induction to phagolysosome resolution.


    Vijay Kumar. Phagocytosis: Phenotypically Simple Yet a Mechanistically Complex Process. International reviews of immunology. 2020;39(3):118-150

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    PMID: 32141349

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