The acute intoxication following an injection of a toxic proteose is usually associated with a large increase (40 per cent or more) in the non-protein nitrogen of the blood. This increase is found chiefly in the blood urea nitrogen, but the amino and peptide nitrogens also may show small increases. The changes observed in the blood non-protein nitrogen are identical with those which follow the feeding of large amounts of meat (8).
These facts indicate that the proteose intoxication causes an abnormally rapid autodigestion of tissue proteins, but that the nitrogenous end-products are, in chief part at least, the same that result from normal catabolism of food proteins. There is no evidence that the autolytic products play any part in causing the intoxication. The possibility of such a part and a resultant vicious circle is not excluded, but from the available facts the autolysis appears more as a result rather than cause of the intoxication.
It appears possible that in disease or intoxication tissue catabolism may be enormously accelerated and yet yield the end-products of normal protein metabolism.