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Biochem Pharmacol. 1999 Jun 1;57(11):1209-14.

Exocytosis of neutrophil granulocytes.

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Department of Physiology, Semmelweis Medical University, Budapest, Hungary.


Neutrophil granulocytes play an important role in the defense mechanisms of mammalian organisms against bacterial invaders. The combat arsenal of neutrophils consists of engulfing and endocytosing the foreign particle, producing toxic oxygen compounds, and liberating substances stored in intracellular vesicles. At least four different types of granules are formed during maturation of neutrophil granulocytes in the bone marrow. Functional properties of release from the different granule populations differ in several respects from characteristics of neurotransmitter release, the best understood secretory process in mammals. The available data indicate that several key proteins of the exocytotic machinery identified in neural tissue either are absent from neutrophil granulocytes or their subcellular localization is different. Furthermore, in a human disease (Chédiak-Higashi syndrome), the defect of the secretory pathway affects mainly the cells of the haemopoietic lineage. Taken together, these data suggest that regulated exocytosis from neutrophil granulocytes (or perhaps also from other haemopoietic cells) may represent a specific case of the general mechanism of secretion.

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