The quantity of a radioactive hemolysin, sodium dodecyl sulfonate-S35, taken up by red cells from concentrations too small to produce hemolysis varies with the lysin concentration, and does so in a way which can be described by an adsorption isotherm. Attempts to use color reactions or surface tension measurements to determine the quantity of digitonin, saponin, and the bile salts taken up by red cells from hypolytic concentrations have failed, principally because chromogenic, and also surface-active, substances are liberated from the cells when the lysin is added. Color reactions with the anthrone reagent show that digitonin and saponin are both taken up by or fixed to red cell ghosts; the extent of the uptake, however, is uncertain, again because of the liberation of chromogenic substances.
Comparison of the results of the various methods which measure the apparent amount of lysin fixed, or utilized in reactions between lysins and red cells or ghosts show discrepancies between results given by direct methods (measurement of radioactivity or of color) and indirect methods (addition of a second population after lysis of a first, and dependence of the position of the asymptote of the time-dilution curve on the number of red cells). The discrepancies are traceable to the inhibitory effects of substances liberated from the red cells or ghosts.
The ease with which a lysin, once taken up by red cells, can be detached by diluting the system determines the extent to which the hemolytic reaction is "progressive," but has no observed connection with the quantity taken up in the first place. There is now ample evidence that lysis in systems containing simple hemolysins is a process involving two stages in time and two phases, and that it is usually complicated by reactions between the hemolysin and liberated inhibitory material.