Definition of phytohemagglutinin in US English:


(British phytohaemagglutinin)


  • A toxic plant protein, especially that extracted from the red kidney bean. It has important medical applications, especially in immunology, because it can induce mitosis and also causes red blood cells to clump together.

    • ‘House sparrows were injected 0.05 ml of 0.2 mg phytohemagglutinin (PHA-P) in one wing web and 0.05 ml physiological water in the other wing web.’
    • ‘Cell-mediated immunity was assessed 7 weeks after implantation via intradermal injection of the T-cell mitogen phytohemagglutinin into the wing web and measuring the degree of swelling 24 h later.’
    • ‘Lymphocytes were stimulated by phytohemagglutinin and were incubated in humidified incubators at 37°C for a total of 72 h.’
    • ‘Finally, a lectin found in raw kidney bean, phytohaemagglutinin, was found to reduce the rate of an NHL tumor in mice.’
    • ‘Males were then subjected to a cutaneous hypersensitivity test by injecting their wing web with a lectin, phytohemagglutinin, which has a mitogenic effect on T-lymphocytes.’