A lipid fraction from Escherichia coli was extracted with apolar solvents and was found to protect mice from a number of experimental bacterial infections. The benzoquinone, ubiquinone-8, was isolated from this extract by high pressure liquid chromatography and identified as such by nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry. At a dose of 25 mg/kg this substance was found to provide complete protection against otherwise lethal infections with gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria in mice. Treatment was most effective when given intravenously 24 h before infection. In comparative studies, ubiquinone-8 had a clearly higher activity than ubiquinones-4, Q6, and Q10. A highly significant increase in the clearance rate of bacteria from the blood by the spleen and the liver of treated animals, correlated well with the protective effect of ubiquinone-8. The compound stimulated the ability of mouse macrophages to incorporate sheep erythrocytes and significantly increased the number of antibody-producing cells in spleens of mice.

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