To investigate phagocytosis, peritoneal-resident and J774.1 macrophages were incubated with fluorescent polystyrene microspheres measuring 1.0 μm in diamter at 200 particles per cell. The amount of phagocytized microspheres increased with incubation time, and both cell types had similar phagocytic activity. Further, we investigated the phagocytosis of different sizes of microspheres by J774.1 macrophages. To adequately evaluate phagocytosis, varying amounts of different sizes of microspheres were added to J774.1 cells, and their phagocytic activities were evaluated. When the microspheres were added at a density of 20 particles per cell, few small microspheres (<1.0 μm in diameter) were phagocytized. This result suggested that their low amount caused difficulty in evaluating phagocytosis. In contrast, when the same variety of microspheres was added at a density of 200 particles per cell, phagocytosis of large microspheres (>3 μm in diameter) could not be evaluated because of cytotoxicity. Thus, the amount of different sizes of microspheres added is important for precisely evaluating phagocytic activity. When the amount of different sizes of microspheres added was standardized to provide a set amount of total surface area, phagocytosis of these microspheres could be adequately evaluated and compared. To determine the effects of phagocytosis on cell viability and proliferation, cells incubated with different sizes of microspheres were assayed using a cell counting kit. We found that phagocytosis had no effect on cell viability or proliferation and was independent of particle size. Furthermore, cells already phagocytized microspheres retained their phagocytic activity.
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