The concentration of newborn calf serum in the medium has marked effects on the morphological and biochemical properties of mouse mononuclear phagocytes. At a low serum concentration, the cells developed small numbers of tiny cytoplasmic granules and little or no increase in acid phosphatase, cathepsin, and ß-glucuronidase. As the serum concentration was raised, granules were formed at a more rapid rate and were larger in size. The rate of production and total amount of three hydrolytic enzymes was increased at higher levels of serum.
Observations on living cells indicated that the phase-dense granules which accumulated in the perinuclear region were derived from pinocytic vesicles. These clear vesicles fused and migrated to the centrosphere where they underwent a gradual increase in phase density and reacted positively for acid phosphatase.
A microscopic technique was described for the evaluation of the pinocytic process. When this method was employed, the rate of pinocytosis increased curvilinearly with elevations in the calf serum concentration of the medium.
The comparative influence of bovine, horse, and rabbit serum on mouse cells was evaluated.
It is suggested that pinocytosis is a major regulator of granule formation and hydrolytic enzyme production by the mouse macrophage.