The relation of intravascular fibrin to the leucocytic sticking reaction in ear chambers of rabbits injured by heat was investigated in two ways. First, attempts were made to destroy the thin layer of fibrin believed to coat the surfaces of cells involved in the sticking reaction. Second, white cell sticking was studied after fibrinogen had been removed from the blood stream. The results of these experiments were as follows:—
1. Activation of fibrinolysin in vivo by streptokinase did not impair sticking of white blood cells.
2. Administration of streptokinase parenterally did not lower fibrinogen blood levels appreciably even when the amount used was large.
3. Thromboplastin infusions alone reduced circulating fibrinogen to low levels but leucocytic sticking was not prevented. Furthermore, frequent death of animals due to pulmonary embolism made such experiments prohibitive.
4. Addition of streptokinase to thromboplastin infusions protected against embolic deaths but did not influence sticking even though the fibrinogen levels achieved were quite low.
5. Finally, when thrombin was added to infusions of thromboplastin and streptokinase, no circulating fibrinogen could be detected. Under such circumstances leucocytic sticking following heat injury occurred without reduction.
These findings were interpreted as evidence against a primary role of the blood clotting mechanism in causing the sticking of white blood cells to injured endothelium. Alternative explanations were discussed.