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Key Points

  • Macrophages
    • Innate immune cell
    • Phagocyte
      • Foreign pathogens are put into phagosomes, which fuse with lysosomes to break down the pathogen
    • Presents antigens
      • Bridge between innate and adaptive immune response
      • Phagocytosed and digested antigens are presented on cell surface for recognition by T-cells
      • Macrophages can present antigens, but Dendritic Cells are more likely to do so
    • Coordinates (innate) immune response via release of cytokines
      • Cytokines are secreted proteins that signal to other immune cells
      • Macrophages release cytokines to increase or decrease inflammation, and recruit other immune cells to affected sites