An in vitro-established line of mouse peritoneal macrophages (IC-21) was tested for its ability to mediate the cytolysis of 51chromiun-labeled chicken erythrocytes. In the presence of specific antibody, but independently of complement, the macrophages phagocytized and lysed labeled erythrocytes. The phagocytic process proved to be functionally distinct from the cytolytic reaction as demonstrated by enhanced cytolysis in the presence of iodoacetate, an inhibitor of phagocytosis.

This cell line, because of its effector activity in antibody-dependent cell-mediated immune reactions, will be useful in characterizing the mechanism(s) involved in macrophage-mediated cytolysis.

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