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February 1968

The Pathogenesis of Meningitis: Systemic Effects of Meningococcal Endotoxin Within the Cerebrospinal Fluid

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC
From the Division of Surgery, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC.

Arch Neurol. 1968;18(2):123-128. doi:10.1001/archneur.1968.00470320025002

EVIDENCE has accumulated which suggests that gram-negative endotoxin may act on elements of the nervous system to produce significant systemic pathology.1-7 Penner and Bernheim4 demonstrated that ulcerative lesions of the gastrointestinal tract, which are present in systemic canine endotoxin shock, appear after the introduction of very small doses of Shigella endotoxin into the third ventricle. Such doses would be completely ineffective if given systemically.4 Palmerio et al5 have confirmed these observations in the dog and rabbit with Escherichia coli endotoxin. Kass et al7 observed that the lethal dose of E coli endotoxin is smaller when injected into the carotid artery of rats and that endotoxin lethality can be eliminated by posterior hypothalamic ablation.

We have previously demonstrated that small doses of E coli endotoxin placed into the cisterna magna or lateral ventricle of dogs can produce a variety of systemic pathologic lesions associated

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