Asked October 2, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT

how do macrophages protect your body from infection?

Jefferson County New York

1 Response

White blood cells called monocytes leave the blood stream when there is an infection or foreign substance in our bodies. These monocytes go through some chemical and physical changes to become macrophages. Macrophages are literally macro "large" phages "eaters" that engulf the invading substance and destroy it with various enzymes that are produced in the macrophage. Macrophages also alert other monocytes that an infection has occurred so more of them can be made into macrophages. Macrophages live for several months so they can continue to fight infection over time.