A modified 'low pH' lignocaine method for the recovery of human monocytes from untreated plastics is described and compared with other adherence separation procedures, viz. mechanical scraping by a rubber policeman, microexudate-coated plastic method and pretreatment of plastics by fetal calf serum (FCS). Monocytes separated by each of the above-mentioned techniques carried out in parallel were characterised by morphological and functional criteria: non-specific esterase staining, contamination by T- and B-lymphocytes, viability, adherence, neutral red uptake, phagocytosis of yeast particles, random mobility, chemotaxis, and tumoricidal activity both in the absence and in the presence of interferon and lymphokines. The 'low pH' lignocaine method appears to be a simple and reproducible technique for the isolation of human monocytes. It seems preferable to other adherence procedures inasmuch as it yields viable, pure and functionally intact monocytes without requiring preconditional plastics.
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