Sheep red blood cells sensitized by 7S, but not by 19S rabbit anti-Forssman antibodies, adhere and form rosettes on mouse macrophages and on a few monocytes and polymorphonuclear cells (PMN). When, however, C' factors from mouse serum are added to the antigen-19S antibody complex (EAC'), rosettes are formed on most mouse peritoneal macrophages and PMN and on a few monocytes. In addition EAC' also adheres to 10–25% of lymph node lymphocytes but not to thymus lymphocytes. EAC' prepared with 7S anti-Forssman antibodies has identical properties. The adherence of red cells induces an increase in the membrane activity of the leukocytes and causes injury to the red cells which rapidly become deformed and fragmented.
Adherence of EAC' occurs at 37°C and is minimal at 4°C. Probably only the first four C' components are involved in this phenomenon as mouse serum deficient in C'5 or rabbit serum, deficient in C'6 can be used as a source of C' components. Treatment of EAC' with EDTA does not modify its leukocyte-adherence properties. The adherence of EAC' to the leukocytes is not inhibited in the presence of serum.
The receptors for C' on macrophages, PMN, and monocytes differ from those found on lymphocytes. Rosette formation by EAC' on macrophages, PMN, and monocytes depends on divalent cations (Mg++) and can be reversed by Na3H EDTA, while adherence to lymphocytes is independent of these ions and occurs in the presence of 0.01 M Na3H EDTA. Both types of receptors for C' components are destroyed by trypsin treatment of the leukocytes, in contrast with the receptors for 7S antibodies on the same cells which persist after enzyme treatment.