Intragastric inoculation with hepatotoxigenic strains of led to the death of mice during the late phase of infection. Histological study disclosed a massive infiltration of mononuclear cells in the liver, mimicking intrahepatic hypersensitivity. Neither enterotoxigenic nor enteroinvasive induced such a lesion. However, the same histopathological change was induced by injecting the hepatotoxic factor of hepatotoxigenic intravenously on two occasions separated by 14 days. Neither a single injection of an increased dose of the hepatotoxic factor nor two injections, the second of which was heat-inactivated, induced this change. Pre-treatment with rabbit antibody to the hepatotoxic factor inhibited the development of the hepatic lesion. These results suggest that -induced hepatic lesions in mice may be caused, at least in part, by the active moiety of the hepatotoxic factor. The possible mechanisms by which the toxic factor induces hepatitis as a consequence of hypersensitivity are discussed in relation to Guillain-Barré syndrome and Reiter's syndrome associated with enteritis.


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