Structure of a Cell - Non-living Substances Or Cell Inclusion



  • Granules
  • Vacuoles

Cell Inclusion:

The inclusion bodies are tiny particles freely suspended and floating within the cytoplasmic matrix. Therefore, they are also referred to as cytoplasmic inclusions. These cell inclusions are formed with decreasing pH and from the pool of soluble fusion proteins within the cell. They are the elementary bodies formed during infectious diseases or within the virus-infected cells such as rabies, herpes, measles, etc.

Inclusion bodies are abnormal structures of distinct size and shape, usually observed in nerve, epithelial, or endothelial cells. They have a characteristic staining property and are typically composed of proteins.

Inclusion bodies are non-living chemical compounds and by-products of cellular metabolism. They are found in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. There are a wide variety of inclusion bodies in different types of cells. In prokaryotic cells, they are mainly formed to store reserve materials. In animal cells, they store fats and sugars ready for cellular respiration; in plant cells, they store granules of materials like glycogen, starch, etc.

Examples of inclusion particles include gas vacuoles, cyanophycean granules, phosphate granules, and glycogen granules.

General Features of Inclusion Bodies

  • They are generally acidophilic.

  • Maybe crystalline aggregates of virions.

  • Represent degenerative changes produced by a viral infection.

  • They are made of virus antigens present at the site of virus synthesis.

  • They are seen as pink structures when stained with gypsum or methylene blue dye.


  • Vacuoles are storage sacs for solid or liquid contents.
  • The central vacuole of some plant cells may occupy 50-90% of the cell volume.
  • Vacuoles are full of cell sap and provide turgidity and rigidity to the plant cell.
  • Amino acids, sugars, various organic acids, and some proteins are stored in them.
  • They are also present in unicellular organisms. E.g. Food vacuoles in amoeba.

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