To evaluate the role of endotoxin during Gram-negative bacterial meningitis, the nervous lesions of piglets, calves, rabbits and mice were compared by direct inoculation of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide into the central nervous system. Suppurative leptomeningitis was induced in piglets by small doses of lipopolysaccharide. Mice also had a mild suppurative inflammation in the leptomeninges. In contrast, calves showed suppurative pachymeningitis, but no lesions in the leptomeninges. Leptomeningeal inflammation was not induced in rabbits. Induction of the leptomeningitis by endotoxin was compared with sensitivity to intravenous or intraperitoneal endotoxin in these species.
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