When malignant cells, animal and human, were exposed in vitro to solutions of heavy metals or other selected compounds, three types of cell blebs were produced: (1) acentric blebs, arising from one side of the cell, e. g., by chlormerodrin, meralluride sodium, mercuric chloride; (2) symmetrical blebs; which completely enveloped the cell, e. g., by strong silver protein, auric chloride, p-chloromercuribenzoate; (3) scallop blebs, numerous small spherical elevations which completely covered the cell, e.g., by N-ethyl-maleimide, trivalent arsenicals, iodoacetamide. As indicated by vital stains and morphologic appearance, the blebs arose in healthy cells. They also can be made to appear in vivo in ascites tumor cells by intraperitoneal administration of a blebbing agent. All the bleb-producing chemicals have the property of reacting with protein-sulfhydryl groups by alkylation, oxidation or mercaptide formation. The three bleb types have been induced in 8 mouse and 2 rat ascites tumor cells; in 4 human and 1 mouse malignant cell lines; and in 3 normal cell lines grown in tissue culture. In contrast, cells from normal solid tissues of liver, lung, spleen, kidney, testis and brain from mouse, rat and rabbit failed to produce blebs. A possible interpretation for these observations is presented.

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