Toxic water soluble polymeric 3-alkylpyridinium salts isolated from the sponge Raniera sarai strongly inhibited AChE in vitro. In vivo, experimental animals died due to plugs formed in microcirculation. The mechanism of this plug formation is unknown. In vitro, the toxin did not affect the coagulation rate, but the rate of platelet aggregation was accelerated in a dose-dependent manner. The hemolytic activity of poly-APS was diminished by the addition of serum proteins in a dose-dependent manner. These results support the conclusion that non-specific binding to proteins is the underlying mechanism of the lethality of poly APS.