PMID: 1108042Dec 1, 1975Paper

Influence of lead and cadmium on the susceptibility of rats to bacterial challenge

Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
J A CookD i Luzio NR


Intravenous administration of an acute dose of lead acetate or cadmium acetate enhanced the susceptibility of rats to intravenous challenge with E. coli by approximately 1000-fold. Since equivalent vulnerability of lead- or cadmium-treated rats to killed E. coli was observed, toxicity is probably due to the endotoxin content of the bacteria. This postulate is further supported by the observation that equal doses of the Gram-positive bacteria, Staphylococci epidermidis, failed to elicit lethality in the acute lead-intoxicated rats. The synthetic glucocorticoid, methylprednisolone, prevented lethality induced by the Gram-negative bacteria in lead-treated rats. It did not, however, afford significant protection in cadmium-treated rats in the presence of E. coli. Marked alterations in hepatic morphology were apparent in both lead- and cadmium-treated rats challenged with E. coli.


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