1. The injection of leech extracts into the skin increases its permeability, as shown both by the spread of fluid and of foreign particles through the dermis. The spread is followed some hours after the injection by more or less edema of the subcutaneous tissue.
2. A preliminary study of the chemical properties of the leech spreading factor indicates a similarity with the spreading factor prepared from testicle.
3. Attempts to separate the leech spreading and anticoagulating factors showed that the two have practically the same distribution in the leech body, extracts from the separated head being the most active.
4. It is undetermined whether two distinct factors are responsible for the spreading and anticoagulating properties of leech extracts. A chemical similarity is suggested by the fact that agents which affect the activity of one factor have a parallel effect on the other.
5. The mechanism of the spread produced by leech extracts and by other spreading agents is discussed.