We investigated the susceptibility to human complement (C) of xeno-erythrocytes into which phosphatidylinositol (PI)-anchored human C regulatory protein, decay-accelerating factor (DAF) or CD59 had been incorporated. Erythrocytes of sheep (Esh), swine (Esw), dog (Edg), and guinea pig (Egp), unsensitized with human natural antibody (Ab), were used as xeno-target. C-mediated lysis of erythrocytes (E) was induced in both classical and alternative pathways in parallel with the density of the sensitized Ab, except for Egp. The efficacy of DAF/CD59-mediated protection of the xeno E from human C, however, differed among these E species. In both classical and alternative pathways, Esh or Esw, which are non-activator surfaces, were protected by the incorporated DAF or CD59, DAF being more effective than CD59. On the other hand, CD59 was more effective than DAF in both pathways in protection of Egp, which is an alternative pathway activator. To elucidate this different behaviour of DAF and CD59, C3 step inhibition by the incorporated DAF or CD59 was measured. DAF was effective in the suppression of classical pathway-mediated C3 deposition in Esh, Esw and Egp, but not in Edg, while CD59 exhibited negligible effects in this regard. Next, inhibition of the lysis by CD59 was tested by haemolytic assay. CD59 did not block the C5b-8-mediated lysis in any xeno E. It also barely blocked C5b-9-mediated lysis, except in the case of Egp, in which CD59 partly blocked C9 attack. Membrane constituents on targets other than the incorporated complement inhibitors may be a crucial factor in the induction of cytolysis and, presumably, in hyperacute rejection.