The cell-free filtrates of various bacteria are known to exert toxic effects upon the mammalian organism, leading to irreversible shock and death. Gram-negative bacteria of the colonially smooth variety characteristically yield a cell-wall lipopolysaccharide complex identified as an endotoxin. Certain anaerobic bacteria such as the clostridia produce a protein substance designated as an exotoxin which also causes lethal effects and has been implicated in a variety of afflictions ranging from intestinal strangulation obstruction to gas gangrene infections. Both endotoxin and exotoxin may cause irreversible shock and death. The terminal pathologic findings after lethal injections of these substances are identical.3 In fact, hemorrhagic necrosis of the intestinal mucosa appears to be a finding common to irreversible shock due to many causes, including hemorrhage,1 epinephrine injections,2 etc.
In contrast to this uniformity in autopsy findings, we have found that the physiologic course of animals following exotoxin injection is strikingly
NORA P, LAUFMAN H. Effects of Various Drugs on Exotoxin (Cl Perfringens) Toxicity: Pretreatment With Chlorpromazine, Phenoxybenzamine, Heparin, and Cortisone. Arch Surg. 1963;87(1):53–58. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310130055007
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