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CHAPTER XVI.PHAGOCYTOSIS.As one may learn from the writings of Metchnikoff, phagocytosis in its broad sense has three distinct channels of activity: nutritional, resorptive and protective.Phagocytosis for purposes of nutrition is most highly developed in unicellular ameboid organisms, but is found also in animals of considerable organic differentiation. It is perhaps nowhere more striking than among certain myxomycetes, which are large, naked, multinucleated, protoplasmic masses belonging to the plant kingdom, and which possess that peculiar, slow, undulating motility which characterizes the ameboid cells. Ingestion is accomplished through protoplasmic arms (pseudopodia) which are thrown out to envelop the object. Minute plant and animal cells, living or dead, are ingested in this manner by the myxomycetes, amebæ and other unicellular organisms and are subsequently digested by means of intracellular ferments. The ferments which have been extracted are proteolytic, digesting gelatin or fibrin, usually in an acid but sometimes
Special Article. JAMA. 1905;XLIV(21):1681–1683. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500480029002
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