The mechanism of the reticuloendothelial "blockade" which followed injection of large quantities of chromic phosphate without exogenous stabilizing material was investigated in Wistar rats.
The RE blockade observed for several hours after induction appeared related to the continuing circulation of the chromic phosphate-blockading dose, and a reduction in the size of the particles used enhanced blockade.
RE blockade appeared to be particles specific and was not related to a generalized depression of RE-phagocytic cell function.
Studies in isolated perfused rat livers appeared to eliminate saturation of particle-specific macrophage clones as a likely explanation of blockade, and blockade could not be explained on the basis of depletion of serum opsonins.
In the system employed, it is postulated that blockade occurs when large numbers of circulating particles saturate specific macrophage cell membrane-binding sites rather than from physical stuffing of RE-phagocytic cells.