Explain why in order to digest the bacteria which organelle must be plentiful in macrophages.

1 Answer

Top Answer

pacorz's profile pic

pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

All cells have lysosomes, organelles which contain enzymes used to digest materials that are either created inside or brought into the cell. For many cells, this is just a way to break down foods, but for macrophages the cell's main job is to ingest and break down bacteria and other foreign bodies. Because of this, we have a term specifically for the digestive process of macrophages, in which we find digestive sacs known as phagolysosomes. A phagolysosome is formed when a phagosome, which is the membrane-enclosed packet containing the material ingested, fuses with a lysosome. To see an animation of this process, click on the link below.

Since macrophages engulf a lot of bacteria and other particles, they create a lot of phagosomes. Therefore we would expect to see a lot of lysosomes present inside a macrophage, so that they could join with the phagosomes and form phagolysosomes. The other link below provides detailed information on the chemical digestion process that occurs within the phagolysosome.