An amebocyte or amoebocyte (/əˈmiː.bə.saɪt/) is a mobile cell (moving like an amoeba) in the body of invertebrates including echinoderms, molluscs, tunicates, sponges and some chelicerates. They move by pseudopodia. Similarly to some of the white blood cells of vertebrates, in many species amebocytes are found in the blood or body fluid and play a role in the defense of the organism against pathogens. Depending on the species, an amebocyte may also digest and distribute food, dispose of wastes, form skeletal fibers, fight infections, and change into other cell types.
In older literature, the term amebocyte is sometimes used as a synonym of phagocyte.
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