Substances such as saponin, the bile salts, etc., which produce lysis of red cells also produce cytolysis of white cells from rabbit peritoneal exudates, the arbitrary criterion of their cytolytic effect being their ability to depress the O2 consumption of the leucocytes. The amount of cytolysis increases regularly as the amount of the added lysin is increased, and sufficiently large quantities of saponin, sodium taurocholate, sodium glycocholate, or sodium oleate are capable of virtually abolishing the O2 consumption altogether. At the same time, it can be shown that a lysin such as saponin is used up in combining with the white cells in much the same way as it is used up in combining with red cells, and the reduction in oxygen consumption appears to be roughly proportional to the amount so combined. The action of these lytic substances on white cells, in fact, is very similar to their action on red cells, due allowance being made for the fact that the cytolysis of the white cell is probably not an all-or-none process like hemolysis.
White cell respiration is also depressed in hypotonic solutions, the respiration being virtually linear with the tonicity.