OBJECTIVE To explore the effects of some membrane lipids on the hemolysis induced by hemolytic toxin from Karenia mikimotoi. METHODS Effects of exogenous membrane lipids such as lecithin, sphingomyelin, L-alpha-phosphatidic acid,cholesterol and gangliosides on the hemolysis induced by the hemolytic toxin were observed. The sensitivities of some erythrocytes from different animals such as rabbit, rat and fish to the hemolytic toxin were evaluated. The total gangliosides in different erythrocytes membrane were detected by colorimetry. RESULTS Only gangliosides significantly inhibited the hemolysis of the hemolytic toxin from K. mikimotoi (P <0.05). Hemolytic percentages decreased to 16.05% after 10 min addition of ganglioside, while those of control were 35.65%. The rabbit red blood cell was the most sensitive to the hemolytic toxin. The hemolytic percentages of rabbit erythrocyte were higher than those of rat (P < 0.05) and fish (P < 0.01). The amounts of lipid-bind sialic acid (LBSA) on frozen dried membrane of rabbit were 672.08 microg/g,and were higher than those of rat (585.97 microg/g) (P < 0.05) and that of fish (431.52 microg/g) (P < 0.01). CONCLUSION Exogenous gangliosides could have a potent inhibition on the hemolysis induced by hemolytic toxin from K. mikimotoi. There was a significant correlation between the sensitivities of different erythrocytes to the hemolytic toxin and the amount of ganglioside on different erythrocytes membrane.