The present study describes a submicroscopic surface fragmentation of erythrocytes which occurs in the ascitic fluid of rats bearing the Novikoff ascites hepatoma. The resulting fragments attach to the surface of macrophages and are phagocytized by pseudopod formation. Plasma membrane in the region of these phagocytosis vacuoles appears to condense into electron-opaque material, suggesting an alteration in its physicochemical state. Stages in intracellular digestion of intact erythrocytes or small fragments within the phagocytosis vacuoles are illustrated; no particles resembling ferritin are observed. The phagocytosis vacuoles possess high levels of acid phosphatase activity. They may be called phagosomes, a type of lysosome. There is no indication of a connection between phagosomes and other formed cytoplasmic organelles. Small vacuoles of the order of 80 mµ in diameter, which may represent pinocytosis vacuoles, are present in the cytoplasm and some appear to be in contact with the phagosome membrane, reminiscent of observations of Rose with HeLa cells.

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