Efferocytosis is a specialized form of phagocytosis in which macrophages and other phagocytic cells clear dead and dying cells to promote homeostasis, embryonic development, regulation of the immune system and the resolution of inflammation.{35342} Efficient clearance of cells is essential for the removal of the nearly 1 million cells per second undergoing apoptosis in a human adult.{35343} Efferocytic removal of apoptotic cells before they become necrotic and release their contents can prevent an immune response to these non-pathogenic antigens.
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