EFFECT OF ENDOTOXIN ON IRON ABSORPTION
WALTER REED ARMY INST OF RESEARCH WASHINGTON DC
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Endotoxin caused marked abnormalities in iron absorption and metabolism within hours after the administration of a parenteral dose. The changes observed during the 1st day following injection were unique there was decreased absorption of iron with a normal intestinal iron content, an accelerated rate of clearance of iron from plasma, and a decreased serum iron concentration. That a generalized cytotoxic effect upon the gut was not the cause of these changes was suggested by the normal intestinal histology and lifespan of mucosal cells, normal absorption of glucose and unchanged excessive absorption of iron by iron-depleted, endotoxin-treated animals. Two days after the administration of endotoxin most abnormalities became normal except that the intestinal iron content increased, and a significant decrease in iron absorption persisted. It was only during this later period that iron-depleted rats had decreased absorption of iron from the gut. It was postulated that the acute absorptive defect was caused by a decreased capability to transfer iron from the mucosal cell into the body, whereas the late defect was associated with impaired entry of intraluminal iron into the intestinal absorptive cells.
- Anatomy and Physiology