The massive agglutination observable in the shed blood of transfused rabbits, and associated not infrequently with sudden marked blood destruction, has a practical significance in connection with the untoward results of repeated transfusion from donors originally compatible; and it has special theoretical interest because the clumping of the cells is apparently an autoagglutination. To determine the actual source of the antibodies has been the object of the present work.
The agglutination in its most marked form has been traced to isoantibodies elicited by the presence in the body of corpuscles originally found compatible; and the frequently associated, rapid blood destruction is doubtless of similar origin. Occasionally antibodies develop in the donor bloods during the period of transfusion, but they are so weak as to be negligible. There remain instances of what would seem to be true autoagglutination due to serum bodies induced by the transfusions as a by-product, so to speak, in the manufacture of isoagglutinins. The antigenic relationship between the red cells of different rabbits is so close that normal isoagglutinins became fixed in the cold upon their elaborator's own corpuscles.
Agglutinins exist within the red cells of rabbits—as has been claimed by Klein. They are readily demonstrable in watery extracts of the dried corpuscles. Whether similar agglutinins ever exist within human cells remains to be determined. We have not found them in the normal corpuscles.