Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was used as a marker to determine the rate of ongoing pinocytosis in several fibroblast cell lines. The enzyme was interiorized in the fluid phase without evidence of adsorption to the cell surface. Cytochemical reaction product was not found on the cell surface and was visualized only within intracellular vesicles and granules. Uptake was directly proportional to the administered concentration of HRP and to the duration of exposure. The rate of HRP uptake was 0.0032–0.0035% of the administered load per 106 cells per hour for all cells studied with one exception: L cells, after reaching confluence, progressively increased their pinocytic activity two- to fourfold. After uptake of HRP, L cells inactivated HRP with a half-life of 6–8 h. Certain metabolic requirements of pinocytosis were then studied in detail in L cells. Raising the environmental temperature increased pinocytosis over a range of 2–38°C. The Q10 was 2.7 and the activation energy, 17.6 kcal/mol. Studies on the levels of cellular ATP in the presence of various metabolic inhibitors (fluoride, 2-desoxyglycose, azide, and cyanide) showed that L cells synthesized ATP by both glycolytic and respiratory pathways. A combination of a glycolytic and a respiratory inhibitor was needed to depress cellular ATP levels as well as pinocytic activity to 10–20% of control values, whereas drugs administered individually had only partial effects. In spite of the availability of an accurate quantitative assay for fluid and solute uptake, the function of pinocytosis in tissue culture cells remains unknown.

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