Phagosome as the organelle linking innate and adaptive immunity

Traffic. 2012 Aug;13(8):1053-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0854.2012.01377.x. Epub 2012 Jun 12.


The means by which phagocytosis and antimicrobial defense mechanisms are linked have expanded greatly in recent years. It is now clear that the process of phagocytosis does more than just degrade internalized microbes, but also helps coordinate the actions of the innate and adaptive immune system. This review will discuss the means by which Toll-like receptor signaling pathways are coordinated around the processes of phagocytosis, phagosome trafficking and autophagy and how these signaling pathways influence T-cell-mediated immunity. In this regard, we propose that at the subcellular level, phagosomes represent the smallest definable unit that links innate and adaptive immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity*
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Autophagy / immunology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Phagocytes / immunology
  • Phagocytes / microbiology
  • Phagocytosis*
  • Phagosomes / immunology*
  • Phagosomes / metabolism
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism*


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition
  • Toll-Like Receptors