Endotoxic lipopolysaccharide has recently been shown to fix large amounts of the complement components related to the biologic activities mediated by that system. The present study sought to determine whether the generation of chemotactic factor by endotoxin in serum was dependent upon complement system activation.
Preheating serum, incubating at 0°C, or incubating in the presence of EDTA, all prevented chemotactic factor generation as well as complement fixation by endotoxin. "Endotoxoids" deficient in complement-firing activity were also deficient in chemotactic factor generation. Chemotactic factor could not be generated by endotoxin in sera of mice congenitally deficient in the C'S component of complement, while chemotactic factor was generated by endotoxin in the sera of coisogenic mice with normal complement levels for that species.
The chemotactic factor induced by endotoxin was heat stable and nondialyzable. Molecular sieve chromatography and sucrose density gradient ultracentrifugation demonstrated that the chemotactic factor was a relatively low molecular weight product (15,000–30,000) and as such different from previously scribed C' system-derived chemotactic factors.
These experiments demonstrate that generation of chemotactic factor by endotoxin in serum is dependent upon C' system activation involving at least C'5. Furthermore, the relatively low molecular weight of this factor suggests that it might be derived from activation of a single complement component rather than from complexing of multiple complement components.