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The Macrophage

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Click on a part of the cell, or its label for more information

    The macrophage is a cell that plays an important role in fighting off disease. The name "macrophage" actually means "large eater" (macro=large phage=eater), which is fitting since it's job is to eat invading microorganisms. Unlike phagocytes, which are other cells that can eat invading microorganisms, the macrophage is bigger and has a longer lifespan, and it will also eat dead cells, cells that aren't working correctly, and dead tissue.

    When a macrophage digests an invading organism, such as bacteria or a virus, it helps to protect your body from disease by showing pieces of the organism to a lymphocyte called a T-cell, which will then signal a B-cell to produce antibodies.