Mouse peritoneal macrophages cultivated in vitro acquire a strong extracellular cytotoxic activity towards isotope labeled syngeneic erythrocytes as demonstrated by isotope release to the medium. This lytic process is mediated by an extremely labile macrophage cytolytic factor (MCF) which is not detected under ordinary tissue culture conditions with serum present in the medium. By the use of serum-free medium containing low doses of 2-mercaptoethanol MCF is stabilized and found to be an easily dialysable, low molecular substance which resists heating at 60°C for 30 min.

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