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Metchnikoff, taking the view that the phenomena of old age depend on the destruction of various tissue cells by the mononuclear leucocytes, expressed the hope that a lymphotoxic serum might be utilized to combat the action of these cells, with the result that life would be prolonged. Whether or not his view as to the cause of old age is correct, his plan of antagonizing it had to be abandoned because leucotoxic serums do not injure the "macrophages" (large phagocytes) to the exclusion of other leucocytes.The injection of a leucotoxic serum into the peritoneal cavity of a guinea-pig causes a temporary decrease in the number of leucocytes, and during this period of hypoleucocytosis the resistance of the animal to peritoneal infections with the organisms of typhoid and cholera is lowered. One may refer this effect to the destructive
Special Article. JAMA. 1905;XLIV(20):1610–1611. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500470038002
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