Phagocytosis is the process of recognition and engulfment of microorganisms or tissue debris that accumulate during infection, inflammation or wound repair. This ingestion, which is performed most efficiently by migrating, bone marrow-derived cells called ‘professional phagocytes’, is essential for successful host defense. Ingestion results when an invading microorganism is recognized by specific receptors on the phagocyte surface and requires multiple, successive interactions between the phagocyte and the target. Each of these interactions results in a signal transduction event, which is confined to the membrane and cytoskeleton around the ligated receptor and which is required for successful phagocytosis. Many molecules found at sites of inflammation or infection stimulate phagocytosis, so that efficient ingestion is confined to the site of infection or inflammation, which in turn limits the proinflammatory and tissue-destructive processes that accompany phagocytosis. This review summarizes current understanding of this critical component of host defense and of its regulation.
The appendages of the adult fruit fly and other insects and Arthropods develop from secondary embryonic fields that form after the primary anterior/posterior and dorsal/ventral axes of the embryo have been determined. In Drosophila, the position and fate of the different fields formed within each segment are determined by genes acting along both embryonic axes, within individual segments, and within specific fields. Since the major architectural differences between most Arthropod classes and orders involve variations in the number, type and morphology of body appendages, the elucidation of the embryology and molecular genetics of the origin and patterning of insect limb fields may help to facilitate an understanding of both the mechanism of appendage formation and some of the major steps in the morphological evolution of the Arthropods. In this review, we will discuss recent studies that have advanced our understanding of both the origin and patterning of Drosophila leg and wing secondary fields. These results provide fresh insights into potentially general mechanisms of how body parts develop and evolve.