The preservatives, 'Merthiolate' and formalin, were used in an attempt to inhibit the autolytic action of the enzymes present.
autolysis au·tol·y·sis (ô-tŏl'ĭ-sĭs)
The destruction of tissues or cells of an organism by the action of substances, such as enzymes, that are produced within the organism.
Self-destruction of tissues within the living body. Also called autodigestion.
The hemolytic action of blood serum or plasma upon its own cells. Also called autocytolysis.