pinocytosis

pinocytosis

[pin-uh-sahy-toh-sis, pahy-nuh-]
noun Physiology.
the transport of fluid into a cell by means of local infoldings by the cell membrane so that a tiny vesicle or sac forms around each droplet, which is then taken into the interior of the cytoplasm.

Origin:
1931; < Greek pín(ein) to drink + -o- + -cyte + -osis, on the model of phagocytosis

pinocytotic [pin-uh-sahy-tot-ik, pahy-nuh-] , adjective
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

pinocytosis pin·o·cy·to·sis (pĭn'ə-sĭ-tō'sĭs, -sī-, pī'nə-)
n.
Introduction of fluids into a cell by invagination of the cell membrane, followed by formation of vesicles within the cells.


pin'o·cy·tot'ic (-tŏt'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

pinocytosis

a process by which liquid droplets are ingested by living cells. Pinocytosis is one type of endocytosis, the general process by which cells engulf external substances, gathering them into special membrane-bound vesicles contained within the cell. In pinocytosis, rather than an individual droplet of liquid traveling passively through the cell membrane, the droplet first becomes bound, or adsorbed, on the cell membrane, which then invaginates (forms a pocket) and pinches off to form a vesicle in the cytoplasm. It is believed that a vesicle may carry extracellular fluid to the opposite side of the cell, where it undergoes exocytosis. A droplet of fluid could thus be transported through the cell without disturbing its cytoplasm. Alternatively, the contents of the vesicle may be released to mix with the cytoplasm. See also phagocytosis.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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