The cytotoxic events leading to lysis induced in Ehrlich ascites tumor (E.A.) cells by Prymnesium parvum cell extracts were followed microscopically and measured quantitatively as changes in E.A. cell volume, uptake of trypan blue, and release of macromolecular constituents from the cells. Cell swelling was the most immediate response to P. parvum cytotoxin, while cell death and lysis were later events distinguished by a decline in cell volume, uptake of dye, and appearance of cellular macromolecules free in the incubation medium. The pH and temperature were shown to affect the outcome of the lytic sequence. At either low pH or temperature, cells swelled but did not lyse until the pH or temperature was raised. On the other hand, cells swollen at the higher pH or temperature could be protected from lysis by lowering either the pH or the temperature.

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