Assessment of the Phagocytic Activity of the Macrophage System

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IN 1953 Biozzi, Benacerraf and Halpern reported a technique for assessment of the phagocytic activity of the macrophage (reticulo-endothelial) system involving the introduction of a known quantity of particulate carbon into the circulation and the recording of its disappearance over a period of time. Serial samples of blood were removed from the retro-orbital plexus of the experimental animal as previously described by Halpern and Pacaud2, and the concentration of carbon in each sample was measured by means of an absorptiometer. The logarithmic value of each of the absorptiometer readings was plotted against the time of removal of the sample, and the slope of the line in closest relationship to these successive points was taken to indicate the rate of uptake of particulate carbon by the cells of the macrophage system.

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  1. 1

    Biozzi, G., Benacerraf, B., and Halpern, B. N., Brit. J. Exp. Path., 34, 441 (1953).

  2. 2

    Halpern, B. N., and Pacaud, A., C.R. Soc. Biol., 145, 1465 (1951).

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BILBEY, D., SALEM, H. Assessment of the Phagocytic Activity of the Macrophage System. Nature 184, 992–993 (1959) doi:10.1038/184992a0

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