Incubation of human platelets in plasma containing a suspension of latex particles for 1–90 min resulted in progressive accumulation of particles in the open-channel system, followed by localization of latex in electron-opaque vacuoles. After 60 min, acid phosphatase was localized within latex-containing vacuoles. The periodate-alkaline- bismuth reaction intensely stained external membranes and membranes of the open-channel system. Membranes of latex-containing organelles were not stained. Latex phagocytosis was independent of both anticoagulant choice and aspirin effects. Our results indicate that the platelet can act as a true phagocyte, and we suggest that the phagocytic process is chronologically similar to that reported for polymorphonuclear leukocytes.

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