Influence of the protein C activator from snake venom on blood coagulation was studied. Incubation of different concentrations of the activator with rat blood plasma resulted in a dose-dependent prolongation of the activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT). Cleavage of the protein C to the active form was detected by electrophoresis. Intravenous administration of the activator (100 mg/kg) into rats led to prolongation of APTT to 242 +/- 80%, to increase in the plasminogen activator level to 145 +/- 29% and to decrease in the factor V activity to 57 +/- 14%. When thrombosis was induced by means of administration of the thromboplastin lethal dose, pretreatment with the activator prevented animal death in 90% of cases. The effects of the activator observed appear to occur via transformation of the endogenous protein C into its active form.