To study the biomembrane architecture, the ultrastructural observation of erythrocyte membranes was performed using the freeze-etching method. Freeze-etched erythrocyte membranes of normal subjects showed the smooth surface with small particles, which were measured 84±23 A in diameter, 3928±182/μ(2) in density in the internal surface (I.S.) and 147±30 A, 643±159/μ(2) in the external surface (E.S.).
As the comparative study, the erythrocyte membrane of the patients with autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), dyserythroblastic anemia, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and ovalocytosis were also examined with the freeze-etching method. The erythrocytes showing the functional or morphological abnormalities were proved to have a various type of abnormal architectures in the membranes. In AIHA and PNH, the improvement of anemia was observed after the administration of steroid hormon or vitamin E and was in the good correlation with the normalization of the erythrocyte membrane architecture.