A photoreductive titration of the resonance Raman (RR) spectra of cytochrome c oxidase in whole mitochondria was recorded by exploiting the preferential enhancement of the Raman signals of reduced cytochrome oxidase excited at 441.6 nm. When the sample was cooled to about--10 degrees C, it was possible to slow down the photoreductive effect of the laser and to record RR spectra at various states of reduction. Compared to the earliest recorded scan (most oxidized), the dithionite-reduced sample shows the appearance of new bands at 216, 363, 560, and 1665 cm-1. At intermediate stages of photoreduction, the 216- and 560-cm-1 bands appear before the 363- and 1665-cm-1 bands; photoreduction induces full intensity in the former bands, whereas the latter bands are photoreduced to 50% of the dithionite-reduced intensity. The relative intensities of a doublet at 1609--1623 cm-1 are affected by reduction: the band at 1609 cm-1 is weaker in the earlier scans; in later scans this band has grown to equal intensity with the 1623-cm-1 band. We conclude that this reductive titration of the RR spectrum of cytochrome c oxidase reflects three states in its reduction. The behavior of the doublet at 1609--1623 cm-1 suggests that the two hemes are nonequivalent but interacting. The band at 216 cm-1 may be indicative of an iron-copper interaction that is affected by the presence of external ligands.