Laying out and studying a white blood cell called a macrophage (Greek makrós – large, phagein – to eat).
Big eater, what’s your specialty?
Macrophage, your lot belongs to the immune system. You are King of the Phagocytes. Phagocytes are cells that protect the body by absorbing/eliminating harmful particles, bacteria and dead or dying cells. M1 macrophages attack invaders (microbes) by creating an area of inflammation around them. Perhaps you keep pathogens from spreading? M2 macrophages decrease inflammation and encourage tissue repair.
Based on this, can I make 2 simple assumptions? Can I deduce chronic inflammation signifies organ or tissue has been invaded by a pathogen or there is injury?
Macrophage, you can take up residence in specific organs. For example, they call you Microglia in the CNS, you are a Kupffer cell in the liver, and Adipose tissue macrophage in Adipose tissue. And other macrophages, like scavengers, you wander the body cleaning it up.
You remove dying or dead cells and cellular debris by engulfing pathogens and digest/destroying them. Sometimes a pathogen sabotages your process and decides to live inside of you. In the case of the latter, the immune system doesn’t have a clue (or does it?) as the invader begins to replicate itself.
I know you a little better because I’ve drawn you. You are as intimidating as you are beautiful.
Right now I am looking at the relationship between gut bacteria ( the microbiome) and adipose tissue. Here now enters the immune system. The reason I took the time to draw out and investigate the macrophage (I don’t pretend to understand.) is because I made a connection to the microglia in the brain.
I was studying the brain (My father lives with Alzheimer’s Disease.) last summer. I keep thinking and saying I will go back to the brain when I finish whatever I am currently working on…but as it is…it really is all connected.
#SmallPictureIsBigPicture #Connections #Art #Life #Science
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