The effects of a single injection of a bacterial endotoxin on the cellular changes of a primary immune response to a standard dose of sheep red blood cells were studied in the spleens and mesenteric lymph nodes of mice. Daily histological comparisons of these organs in mice, injected with endotoxin, or with antigen, or both, showed that endotoxin given simultaneously with sheep red blood cells, as antigen, significantly enhanced all of the cellular changes that appear in the mesenteric lymph nodes and spleens of mice that form antibody when that antigen is given alone. First, in the white pulp of the spleens and cortical regions of the nodes, there appeared an early and excessive proliferation of the large pyroninophilic cells which seems to be responsible for the earliest formation of antibody, as judged by this work and that of others cited in the body of the paper. Polymorphonuclear cells invaded the spleens of these animals early after simultaneous challenge with antigen and endotoxin, and in far greater numbers than have ever been seen in mice given the same antigen without endotoxin. "Activated" germinal centers formed in the lymphoid tissue either 1 day before the appearance of antibody in the blood stream or on the same day, and they became larger than in the mice given antigen only. On the other hand, these specific and characteristic cellular changes failed to appear in mice prevented from forming any antibody at all by injections of endotoxin given 2 days before the antigenic challenge.
These findings are discussed in the light provided by data from recent reports of others as well as in the light of the accompanying paper (1) which demonstrated not only the enhancement of antibody formation following simultaneous injections of antigen and endotoxin, as already known, but a totally unexpected, complete suppression of its formation when endotoxin was given 2 days before antigen.