A molecular minute: Respiratory burst

Inspired and expired air
Did you know neutrophils and mononuclear phagocytes respire too? But it's not like our respiration to sustain life, it is to kill.

When activated by a pathogen, neutrophils and monocytes increase oxygen consumption by a process known as the respiratory burst. It is followed by rapid release of reactive oxygen species (superoxide radical and hydrogen peroxide). Respiratory burst plays an important role in the immune system. It is a crucial reaction that occurs in phagocytes to degrade internalized particles and bacteria.

We'll update a detailed illustration on the oxidative burst if time permits! :)

Comic idea by Manasi Shirodkar

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