Induction of Endotoxin Tolerance

  • Sheldon Edward Greisman


Resistance to gram-negative bacterial endotoxins occurs in two general forms. One appears genetically determined, the affected species (or strain) exhibiting minimal responses to an initial intravenous injection of relatively massive quantities of endotoxin. Examples are the lethal and pyrogenic unresponsiveness seen in baboons, vervets, and C3H/ HeJ mice (Sultzer, 1968; Westphal, 1975). In contrast to such natural resistance, other species respond to an initial intravenous injection of endotoxin with an array of striking physiologic and biochemical alterations, man being one of the most highly responsive (Greisman and Hornick, 1973). Most of these responses decrease progressively when the endotoxin is readministered at appropriate intervals. Such acquired resistance, or tolerance, does not necessarily develop in the same temporal sequence for each response; indeed, particularly during the initial several days, hyperreactivity may occur to one while tolerance appears to another (Greer and Rietschel, 1978). This review will consider some of the mechanisms underlying the induction of endotoxin tolerance to two responses that have been most intensively studied—fever and lethality.


Typhoid Fever Single Intravenous Injection Endotoxin Tolerance Typhoid Vaccine Disseminate Intravascular Coagulopathy 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheldon Edward Greisman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine and PhysiologyUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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