The typical febrile response of normal rabbits given bacterial endotoxin intravenously may be modified by prior administration of plasma or, less effectively, serum of endotoxin-tolerant donors. This altered response is characterized by disappearance of the second rise in fever and by a striking reduction in fever index. It thus resembles the course of fever shown by rabbits made tolerant to endotoxin by one or more previous daily doses. This transfer of tolerance by plasma or serum depends critically upon the manner in which tolerance is induced in the donors.
The plasma of donor rabbits made tolerant, then given an RES-blocking dose of carbon, still confers tolerance upon normal recipient rabbits. Such donors have lost their tolerance and are highly sensitive to endotoxin at the time their blood is taken.
The implications of these findings for endotoxin tolerance and for transfer of this phenomenon are discussed. The evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that both tolerance and its transfer are based upon RES function and are independent of antibody.