1. Cryoactivation of human plasma ‘prorenin’ was followed for 24 h at −4°C. Chromogenic assays were used to determine factor XII (FXII), FXIIa, prekallikrein and kallikrein in relation to the observed cold-induced increase in plasma renin activity (PRA). Bradykinin activity was also determined using the rat uterus bioassay.

2. PRA increased rapidly and became significantly higher after just 6 h of cryoactivation, by which time prekallikrein had almost disappeared, while kallikrein and kinin levels increased. In contrast, FXII did not change notably, but some FXIIa was indeed formed.

3. The bacteriostat neomycin sulphate did not affect the course of cryoactivation, but did block the dextran sulphate- and kaolin-induced activation of prekallikrein and FXII respectively, and was therefore omitted.

4. Thus cryoactivation of prorenin is accompanied by, and may depend upon, the activation of FXII and prekallikrein, supporting other evidence in favour of this hypothesis.

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