The key difference between microphage and macrophage is that the microphage is a type of small phagocyte living only for a few days while the macrophage is a type of larger phagocyte with a longer life.
Our immune system fights with invading pathogenic microorganisms and keeps us safe. Hence, it is a complex system that executes many different defence mechanisms in order to detect invaders and destroy them. Phagocytosis is one mechanism in which phagocytes ingest invading particles and kill them. Phagocytes are cells capable of engulfing and absorbing bacteria, and other foreign cells and infectious particles destroy within them. Accordingly, there are two main types of phagocytes namely microphage and macrophage. Microphage is a small polymorphonuclear phagocyte that presents in large numbers. On the other hand, the macrophage is a type of phagocyte that is stationed at several important locations in our body in order to act as a frontline defence mechanism against invading particles. They are the big eaters in our immune system.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Microphage
3. What is Macrophage
4. Similarities Between Microphage and Macrophage
5. Side by Side Comparison – Microphage vs Macrophage in Tabular Form
What is Microphage?
Microphage a small phagocytic white blood cell present in our blood and lymph. It is a polymorphonuclear leukocyte that cannot replicate. It lives for only a few days. Microphages are present in large numbers. Hence, there are large reserves of microphages in the bone marrow. Besides, these phagocytes start life in the bone marrows. Unlike macrophages, they not stationed at certain places. They are constantly circulating within our blood.
Microphage plays an important role in our immune system. Moreover, microphage can be a small neutrophil or an eosinophil. They are cable of eating or ingesting small infectious particles such as bacteria.
What is Macrophage?
Macrophage is a large phagocytic cell found in our immune system. Macrophage starts life from monocyte produced from the stem cells of bone marrows. Macrophages are not numerous as microphages, and there are no reserves of macrophages. However, they live a longer life than microphages. They stay as a stationary form in certain tissues such as alveoli of the lungs, the abdominal (peritoneal) and chest (pleural) cavities, under the top layer of the skin and the intestines, etc., and act as front-line defence cells against invaders. Sometimes, they become mobile white blood cells especially at sites of infection.
Likewise, macrophages engulf and digest cellular debris, foreign substances, pathogens, cancer cells, and anything which does not belong to the own body. Furthermore, they recycle dead cells and other cellular debris. Macrophages are the main components in the cells cleanup process.
Moreover, they eat cell debris and pathogens behaving like an amoeba-like an organism. They engulf bacteria by forming a pocket-like structure called phagosome around them. Once phagosomes are formed, lysosomes release digestive enzymes to the phagosomes. These enzymes digest and destroy the pathogens and cell debris surrounded by the phagosome.
What are the Similarities Between Microphage and Macrophage?
- Macrophage and microphage are two types of white blood cells.
- They are the cells involved with our innate immunity.
- Also, both are present in the blood and lymph fluids.
- These cells originate from the stem cells in the bone marrow.
- Furthermore, both are capable of ingesting small particles such as bacteria, etc.
- In fact, both are phagocytes.
- Besides, they generate immune responses. Hence, they must be kept in good levels in our blood.
What is the Difference Between Microphage and Macrophage?
Microphage and macrophage are two types of phagocytes present in our blood. Microphage is a small polymorphonuclear phagocyte which lives for a few days while macrophage is a large phagocyte that starts life as monocyte and lives for a longer period. Therefore, this is the key difference between microphage and macrophage. Furthermore, based on the nuclei, there is a difference between microphage and macrophage. That is; microphages have multi-lobed nuclei while macrophages have a round shaped nucleus which is not lobed.
Also, microphage differs from macrophages from the availability of reserves in the immune system. Microphages are present in large numbers, and there are reserves of microphages in the bone marrows. On the other hand, macrophages are not present in large numbers. Hence, there are no reserves of macrophages. So, this is also a difference between microphage and macrophage.
The below infographic on difference between microphage and macrophage provides more information on these differences.
Summary – Microphage vs Macrophage
Both microphage and macrophage are phagocytes, white blood cells and capable of ingesting infectious particles and protect us from the invaders. However, microphage is a small phagocyte which contains a multi-lobed nucleus, and it is short lived. On the other hand, macrophage is a large phagocyte which contains a single round nucleus, and it is long-lived. So, this is the key difference between microphage and macrophage. Moreover, microphages are numerous in the blood while macrophages are not numerous as microphages. Hence, another difference between microphage and macrophage is that there are reserves of microphages in our bone marrows, unlike macrophages.