Letter | Published:

Discriminating ‘Athrocytes' in the Reticuloendothelial System

Nature volume 162, pages 6566 (10 July 1948) | Download Citation



‘ATHROCYTOSIS' can be defined as the property of some types of cell (termed' athrocytes') of absorbing and storing in granular form extraneous substances, mostly electronegative colloids. Lison1 showed recently that the Kuppfer cells of the frog and toad liver do not all have this property to the same extent. Some—provisionally termed ‘G' cells—store certain electronegative dyes, namely, those in which the diameter of the particles is greater than 60–80 A. Others (‘F' cells) accumulate preferentially those of smaller diameter. This behaviour is clearly seen when a frog is injected intraperitoneally with a mixture of two acid dyes the particulate diameters of which are respectively greater and less than 80 A.; for example, a mixture of soluble Prussian blue (228 A., calculated by means of Einstein‘s formula from the diffusion coefficient measured with a Nistler‘s diffusion microscope) and ammonium carmine (20.5 A.). In these conditions, the ‘G' Kuppfer cells take up only the blue, the ‘F' cells only the carmine.

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  1. 1.

    , C.R. Assoc. Anatom. (1947).

  2. 2.

    , , and , Arch. Biol., 50, 561 (1939).

  3. 3.

    , Mém. Acad. Roy. Belgique, 19, 1 (1942).

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  1. Department of Histology, Faculty of Medicine, University, Brussels. May 12.

    • L. LISON
    •  & J. SMULDERS


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