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Lysosomes are single membrane vesicles, having intermediate size between microsomes and mitochondria. These are surrounded by a lipoprotein membrane (Fig.1.9). Lysosomes are rich in many hydrolytic enzymes such as phosphatase and ribonuclease and because of this, they are named as lysosomes (Lyso means lytic action).
The hydrolytic enzymes of lysosome completely destroy the foreign materials like pathogenic microorganism. They also serve to digest cell components after cell death. Inside the macrophages these lysosomes combine with vecuole which has engulfed the foreign particles and form phagolysosomes. Inside these phagolysosomes foreign particles are degraded or killed. The pathogen engulfed lysosomes are destroyed by the reticulo endothelial system. Due to this action lysosomes are called as ‘Suicidal Bags’.
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