Section 7
Chapter 6,296

Relations between the progress of infectious diseases and steroid metabolism

Zimmermann, W.

Zentralblatt für Bakteriologie Parasitenkunde Infektionskrankheiten und Hygiene. Erste Abteilung Originale. Reihe A Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Parasitologie 245(3): 356-367


ISSN/ISBN: 0300-9688
Accession: 006295417

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Guinea pigs and/or rats were infected with Salmonella typhimurium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Providencia or Streptococcus faecalis. In each single test about 200 guinea pigs were split into 4 sub-groups: the main group was infected, a control group was kept under the same conditions but not infected and the remaining 2 groups received a pretreatment to show whether the natural resistance against infection could be changed. In the plasma and urine of the animals, 17-OH-corticoids, ketosteroids, cortisol, corticosterone, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone and aldosterone were assayed by photometric or fluorometric methods or by radioimmunoassay. After infection of guinea pigs the corticoids in the plasma rise to 225 .+-. 80%, the corticoids in the urine to 283 .+-. 113%, the 17-ketosteroids in the plasma to 210 .+-. 130% and the 17-ketoseroids in urine to 196 .+-. 67%. Sometimes a decline can be observed in the 1st h p.i. [post infection]. Then the steroid levels rise, the maximum is reached about 1 wk p.i. and declines thereafter. Aldosterone remains almost unchanged, and testosterone levels go down; same applies to corticosterone in rats. Some differences were observed in the reaction of male and female animals and there also seems to be a dissociation between the derivatives of catabolic steroids like cortisol and the anabolic steroids like testosterone or some metabolites of the adrenals detectable in urine as 17-ketosteroids. This quotient is not as defined as in humans. The 1st negative peak probably marks the moment when the infection is first established. It is followed by the 2nd phase with a high activity of the adrenal system during the defense reaction against infection, which afterwards declines according to the severity of the illness. In the 3rd or recovery phase steroids return to normal levels.

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