A direct quantitative relationship has been demonstrated between the number of cell bound C4,2 complexes or C5 molecules and the number of ultrastructural lesions visualized on the cell membrane subsequent to immune hemolysis. When bound C4,2 complexes exceeded bound C5 molecules, the number of ultrastructural lesions seen corresponded to the number of C5 molecules. However, in the reverse situation, with bound C5 molecules in excess of bound C4,2 complexes, the latter determined the number of lesions. During the complement-reaction sequence, the lesions first became visible in the nonlytic intermediate complex EAC1,4,2,3,5 and their number was unaffected when lysis was induced by C6–C9. Since the lesions were also demonstrable on the intermediate complex EC5,6,7, it is concluded that the protein C5 is responsible for their production. Once formed, the physical presence of the C5 molecule is no longer required for the manifestation of the lesions as indicated by persistence of lesions after removal of C5 protein by trypsin. The C5-dependent ultra-structural phenomenon has therefore been interpreted to represent a true structural change of the membrane which, however, is not accompanied by a permeability defect.

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