DNA-protein coacervates containing colloidal gold particles were readily phagocytized by strain L fibroblasts. During the subsequent digestion process, the gold particles served as markers which permitted the demonstration of the evolution of digestive vacuoles to multivesicular bodies and finally to dense bodies. Acid phosphatase and esterolytic activity was present in these structures. The hydrolytic enzymes were apparently brought to the phagocytotic vacuoles in small vesicles originating in the Golgi region. These vesicles entered the vacuoles prior to the digestion of the coacervates and the appearance of positive cytochemical reactions. The cytoplasmic dense bodies frequently merged with the phagocytotic vacuoles. This was demonstrated by prelabeling the dense bodies with colloidal iron prior to phagocytosis of the coacervates. In addition, evidence is presented for the interrelationship of the phagocytotic and autophagic pathways.

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