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MALARIAL PIGMENT (SO-CALLED MELANIN): ITS NATURE AND MODE OF PRODUCTION

Authors
Journal
Journal of Experimental Medicine
0022-1007
Publisher
The Rockefeller University Press
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Article
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

1. Two important methods for the study of malarial pigment are described. (a) A method for obtaining a solution of malarial pigment from fixed tissues without the removal of a trace of hemoglobin from the red blood corpuscles. (b) A method for obtaining an iron reaction in malarial pigment. 2. By comparing the bleach reactions and solubility of melanins and malarial pigment, the dissimilarity of the two classes of pigments has been demonstrated. 3. The spectroscopic examination of a solution of malarial pigment proves conclusively that the pigment is hematin. 4. It is suggested that the action of a proteolytic enzyme of the malarial parasite upon the hemoglobin of the red blood corpuscle is the most probable mode of elaboration of malarial pigment. 5. The difficulty with which the human organism disposes of malarial pigment indicates that the production of hematin cannot be considered as a normal intermediate process in the formation of bile pigments from hemoglobin.

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