A study of the recoveries of radioactivity, and of viable bacteria following injection of P32-labelled E. coli into the mouse peritoneum, has indicated that the rapid decrease in viable bacteria which occurs is largely due to peritoneal events, and not to the transport of bacteria elsewhere.

The serum from mice given lipopolysaccharides 48 hours previously, when used to pretreat bacteria before intraperitoneal injection, was found to stimulate phagocytosis to a greater extent than did pretreatment with normal serum. In addition, macrophages themselves were found to be affected by contact with lipopolysaccharides, either in vivo or in vitro in such a way as to promote their phagocytic abilities. It is suggested that the provocation of non-specific immunity by bacterial lipopolysaccharides involves two facets at least; firstly, an increase in the opsonic capacity of the serum, and secondly an increase in the inherent capacity of phagocytic cells to perform this function.

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