Mouse peritoneal macrophages in culture for 24 h were exposed to horse [55Fe]ferritin and rabbit antihorse [55Fe]ferritin antibody complex and the amount of 55Fe in the medium was assayed up to 2 days after the pulse uptake. Cell survival was assayed by photographing the same areas of the tissue culture Petri dish on successive days and by counting cell numbers per unit area. In experiments in which quantitative assay for cell death is negligible, about 10–20% of the iron ingested by pinocytosis or phagocytosis is released to iron-free medium containing either freshly dialyzed or deironized newborn calf serum (10%). Over the 2-day postpulse period, iron loss is linear. This loss of iron to the medium is significantly reduced by adding iron-saturated newborn calf serum in the postpulse recovery period. A significant portion of the iron released to the medium is bound to transferrin. When human serum is used in the tissue culture system, similar quantities (10–25%) of the ingested iron are lost to the medium 2 days after the pulse.

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