EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Apoptosis of HIV infected cell. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a section through a lymphocyte (white blood cell) that is undergoing programmed cell death, or apoptosis. Apoptosis occurs when a cell becomes old or damaged. This cell has been infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Undeveloped virus particles (bright blue) can be seen on the surface of the cell. Their maturation was disrupted by a drug. The lymphocyte will break down into several vesicles, known as apoptotic bodies, and be phagocytosed (engulfed and digested) by specialist cells. The breakdown into vesicles prevents the leakage of potentially toxic or immunogenic substances from the cell. Magnification: x3300 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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