The effect of C3 depletion on the multiple pathophysiological changes produced by a lethal dose of Serratia marcescens lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was evaluated. The injection of this LPS into rabbits resulted in biphasic hypotensive changes and thrombocytopenia. These changes were characterized by an acute, transient decrease occurring within minutes after injection followed by a second more gradual decrease beginning 30 to 60 min post-LPS. Prior depletion of C3, with the anticomplementary protein from cobra venom (CoF), did not alter the extent of either the gradual hypotensive and platelet changes or the coagulative and metabolic changes when normal and C3-depleted rabbits were compared. Importantly, the lethal effects of S. marcescens LPS were not reduced by prior depletion of C3. Only the immediate, reversible thrombocytopenia and hypotension were abrogated by C3 depletion.