In the presence of reticuloendothelial blockade, the intravenous injection of a protein antigen into specifically immunized rabbits or the infusion of soluble immune complexes into normal animals has been shown to result in the production of bilateral renal cortical necrosis. The similarity in the pathogenesis of this lesion and that seen in the classical generalized Shwartzman reaction produced by bacterial endotoxins is indicated by (a) the failure of both lesions to develop in animals pretreated with large doses of heparin, (b) by the finding of "heparin-precipitable fibrinogen" in the circulation, and (c) by the presence of massive fibrin deposits within the glomerular capillaries. These findings indicate that antigen-antibody reactions in vivo are capable of activating the blood coagulation system and that the mode of action of bacterial endotoxins may have an immunological basis.

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