Fixation of 131I-serum albumin by Ehrlich ascites tumor cells in suspensions and sarcoma S-180 monolayers was measured under experimental conditions. Anaerobic incubation and inhibitors of the oxidative metabolism critically restricted the range of glucose concentrations capable of supporting cell life; in glucose concentrations higher than 10-2 M, Ehrlich cells suffered from their own acid production; in concentrations 10-2 M, lower than they underwent damage by starvation. Both types of damage were accompanied by increased albumin fixation unrelated to pinocytosis. Different procedures recommended to enhance the uptake of infectious viral RNA by animal cells in culture were tested for their ability to increase albumin uptake. They enhanced the penetration of both albumin and vital dyes and decreased the viability of cell populations. Their effect, therefore, is related to cell damage. It was postulated that reversible damage to cells favors RNA infection by leading to abnormal uptake processes and by decreasing intracellular digestion. This abnormal uptake is different from pinocytosis and also from the massive fixation of albumin to dead cells. The latter phenomenon is due to adsorption by intracellular sites exposed by disruption of the cell membrane. Polycations are able to induce all three forms of fixation depending on the experimental conditions.

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