name: apoptotic cell clearance
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def: "The recognition and removal of an apoptotic cell by a neighboring cell or by a phagocyte." [GOC:rk, PMID:14685684]
comment: Note that unlike mammals or Drosophila, C. elegans (and many lower organisms) do not have professional macrophages/phagocytes, instead cell corpses are engulfed by neighboring cells. Cell types that can function as engulfing cells include hypodermal cells, gonadal sheath cells, pharyngeal muscle cells, and intestinal cells.
synonym: "apoptotic cell removal" EXACT 
synonym: "efferocytosis" EXACT [PMID:17548650]
synonym: "programmed cell clearance" EXACT 
is_a: GO:0006909 ! phagocytosis
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Pages in category "GO:0043277 ! apoptotic cell clearance"
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