Bicarbonate of soda fed in varying quantities over a period of months has no direct effect upon the catalytic activity of the blood. When fed to rabbits, it invariably causes a slight albuminuria and occasional casts. The kidneys of pregnant animals, especially in the later stages of pregnancy, seem to be more susceptible to this salt, and in some instances there may be complete suppression of urine followed by death. In these cases there is a decline in the catalytic activity of the blood similar to that observed in cases of acute nephritis, following the administration of uranium nitrate.
The subcutaneous injection of salts is impracticable on account of the slow absorption.
In intravenous injections it is important to make observations during the injection and at short intervals after the injection has been discontinued, since there is a rapid compensation on the part of the organism with a return of the normal catalytic activity of the blood.
The simple diluting effect brought about by the injection of distilled water into the circulation manifests itself as a slight transitory decrease in the catalytic activity of the blood. This must be taken into consideration when estimating the effect of the injection of solutions of salt upon the catalase of the blood.
Salts, such as sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, sodium sulphate and potassium iodide, acids, such as sulphuric, and alkalies, such as sodium hydrate, cause a definite decrease in the catalytic activity of the blood. This decrease varies directly with the concentration of the salt. The organism compensates rapidly and brings about a return to the normal activity. This compensation becomes less and less complete as larger quantities or repeated infusions are made. For example, twenty cubic centimeters of a five per cent. bicarbonate of soda solution causes a marked fall in the catalytic action of the blood. This is rapidly recovered from in from one to five minutes, and then a much more marked fall in the activity, requiring a longer time for compensation, occurs after the injection of six cubic centimeters of the same solution.
It is of interest to note that sodium sulphate and potassium iodide, which have been shown to accelerate the catalytic activity of liver extract in the test-tube, have an inhibiting effect on the action of the blood when injected intravenously. This is only another instance of the dangers to be encountered from the immediate application of test-tube experiments to the living organism.
The inhalation of carbon dioxide gas, even until convulsions are manifested, is without effect on the catalytic activity of the blood. On the other hand, there is a definite decline in this activity following the administration of illuminating gas. In this respect our results are directly at variance with those of Jolles.