PATHOGENESIS OF THE LETHAL EFFECT OF ANTHRAX TOXIN IN THE RAT: I. PHYSIOLOGIC AND PHARMACOLOGIC STUDIES
ARMY BIOLOGICAL LABS FREDERICK MD
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The pathogenesis and nature of the pulmonary edema caused by lethal doses of anthrax toxin in Fischer 344 rats were investigated. It was shown that massive pulmonary edema developed only after a lag period during which signs of illnes were absent. The protein content and electrophoretic analyses of exudates collected from rats killed by toxin indicated that plasma had escaped from the pulmonary circulation. Following injection of sublethal doses of toxin, a delayed but prolonged vascular leakage in pulmonary, peritoneal, and subcutaneous vascular beds was also demonstrated. Pulmonary edema was not prevented nor was survival time increased by treating rats with drugs inhibiting histamine or serotonin or with drugs blocking the autonomic nervous system at several sites.