Medical Definition of Pinocytosis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Pinocytosis: A cellular process that permits the active transport of fluid from outside the cell through the membrane surrounding the cell into the inside of the cell.

In pinocytosis, tiny incuppings called caveolae (little caves) in the surface of the cell close and then pinch off to form pinosomes, little fluid-filled bubbles, that are free within the cytoplasm of the cell.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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