Caveola

Dementia Quiz

Medical Definition of Caveola

Caveola: An tiny pit, grotto, depression, incupping in the surface of a cell. The name "caveola" means little cave. The plural is caveolae.

Caveolae normally function to facilitate the uptake of fluid by the cell. In the process of pinocytosis, the caveolae close and pinch off to form pinosomes, little fluid-filled bubbles within the cell.

Bacteria can hide in caveolae. Normally when bacteria enter cells, they go into compartments that fuse with cell structures called lysosomes in which they are destroyed. Caveolae do not fuse with lysosomes. The bacteria nestled in a caveola can thus escape extermination.


Quick GuideDementia, Alzheimer's Disease, and Aging Brains

Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, and Aging Brains

Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Reviewed on 6/9/2016

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors