On Properties of the Red Cell Ghost
Journal of Experimental Biology
This paper is concerned with certain properties of the mammalian red cell ghost. The principal conclusions are: When red cells are haemolysed by water they increase in volume, changing their shape and becoming spheres. If the degree of hypotonicity is sufficient they haemolyse in the spherical form, but quickly resume the form of disks, even in hypotonic solutions. If the haemolytic systems are rendered isotonic by the addition of salts, the cells shrink temporarily, but finally assume their
... ginal volume and shape. It seems that when there are no osmotic forces acting on it, the watery ghosts tend to take up the volume and shape from the red cell from which it was derived. When a red cell haemolyses in a hypotonic medium and becomes a ghost, a considerable amount of haemoglobin is retained, perhaps by adsorption. It is doubtful whether this adsorption could be on a purely surface structure ; to account for the results we might have to postulate an internal structure in addition. After haemolysis by water, red Cells will not form spheres between slide and coverslip, nor by the addition of lecithin. If the watery ghosts are made by precipitation with CO2, no sphering can be observed between slide.and slip, with lecithin, with saponin, or with rose bengal. In the case of the watery ghost, the "form component" seems to be preserved, for the ghosts are biconcave disks; the surface, however, must have been altered, for disk-sphere transformations no longer take place.