Abstract

The scanning electron microscope was used to examine the effects vitamin A has on the surface of human erythrocytes. The hemolytic properties of vitamin A, both time- and dose-dependent, are confirmed, and the observations are extended to the establishment of a sequence of cellular events that leads to the destruction of the red cell. The biochemical means whereby vitamin A induces these changes are discussed. In addition, the present study indicates that only selective areas of the erythrocyte membranes are responsive to the action of vitamin A, thereby supporting the proposal that the erythrocytic membrane may not be a homogeneous mass.

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