A cellular element of the innate immune system, these phagocytic white blood cells are the first to respond to infection. They also play a role in inflammation of tissues. When activated, they become antigen presenting cells as well as producing chemokines and cytokines . They work by engulfing pathogens detected by the immune system and engulfing them. The newly engulfed pathogen is then bound to a phagosome and lysosome which release enzymes and toxic chemicals that digest the pathogen.
- ↑ Janeways ImmunoBiology, Murphy K. et al., 2008, 7th ed.