The effect of endotoxin and endotoxin tolerance on inflammation induced by mycobacterial adjuvant

J. T. Rosenbaum, R. B. Mandell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Peptidoglycan, the substance in mycobacteria thought to be responsible for inducing adjuvant arthritis, and endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide or LPS) share many inflammatory properties. Since repeated administration of LPS produces tolerance, i.e., resistance to the toxic and inflammatory effects of LPS, we tested whether LPS and/or LPS tolerance might influence inflammation due to mycobacterial adjuvant. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with Escherichia coli LPS or saline intraperitoneally and then challenged with 100 μg killed Mycobacteria butyricum (adjuvant) in the footpad. A single dose of 100 μg LPS three or 24 hours before adjuvant markedly, but transiently, reduced the local footpad swelling that begins within hours of the adjuvant injection and histologically resembles a sterile abscess. Animals that received multiple doses of LPS and were therefore tolerant or animals that received LPS 72 hours before adjuvant demonstrated adjuvant-induced footpad swelling nearly equal to controls. The anti-inflammatory effect of LPS was transient since footpad swelling in all groups was nearly comparable six days after the adjuvant injection and LPS failed to inhibit consistently the arthritis that develops two or more weeks after adjuvant injection. These studies establish that LPS can markedly inhibit the prodrome of adjuvant arthritis (footpad swelling due to M. butyricum), that inhibition of this prodrome does not prevent the subsequent development of arthritis, and that LPS tolerance diminishes this anti-inflammatory effect of LPS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-301
Number of pages9
JournalYale Journal of Biology and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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