Measurements Of Reticuloendothelial Activity

Quantitative measurements of reticuloendothelial activity are usually made by injecting a suitable colloid intravenously and subsequently measuring the rate of its disappearance from the blood. In his pioneering experiments, Jancso [10] proposed the blood clearance of colloidal carbon for the estimation of phagocytic activity. The development and wide use of the carbon clearance test [11] enabled investigators to determine the functional ability of the RES. In this way, the RES modifications in response to infection, metabolism, tumour growth, shock and many other functions were studied. At present, the carbon clearance test is one of the most common procedures in experimental animals, though several other methods have been developed, for example, the clearance of microaggregates of heat-denatured albumin labelled with I125 [12] or of foreign red blood cells labelled with CrM [13]. By means of radioactive substances, it is possible to measure the activity of macrophages in different organs.

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