BCG-induced enhancement of endotoxin sensitivity in C3H/HeJ mice. I. In vivo studies

S. N. Vogel, R. N. Moor, J. D. Sipe, D. L. Rosenstreich

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73 Scopus citations


C3H/HeJ mice exhibit a marked insensitivity to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in vivo. Pretreatment of these mice with viable BCG organisms 11 days before LPS administration renders them sensitive to the lethal effects of a highly purified, phenol-extracted LPS. Other in vivo responses to LPS are increased in BCG-infected C3H/HeJ mice in parallel with enhanced lethality. These include 1) the elevation of serum interferon, 2) the production of the acute phase reactant, serum amyloid A (SAA), and 3) hypoglycemia. However, BCG infection has only a minimal effect on anti-LPS antibody production. BCG-infected C3H/HeJ mice approach the LPS sensitivity of normal C3H/HeN mice, but the enhanced LPS sensitivity is transient and decreases over a 2-month period. The ability of BCG to induce LPS sensitivity in C3H/HeJ mice demonstrates that LPS unresponsiveness is not due to an absolute defect in this strain, but rather, a partially reversible state of hyporesponsiveness. In addition, these findings, in conjunction with other observations, suggest that the enhancement of LPS sensitivity induced by BCG infection is mediated primarily through an effect on T cells and/or macrophages rather than B lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2004-2009
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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