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metabolic burst


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The enhanced metabolic activity and oxygen uptake exhibited by phagocytes that have taken up particles (particularly particles coated with opsonin) or been exposed to agonists such as formyl peptides and phorbol esters. An NADH-dependent system produces so-called reactive oxygen species which are bactericidal, but which can also cause tissue damage. Defects in the metabolic burst, as in chronic granulomatous disease, allow frequent infections and severely reduce life expectancy.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.


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