This short reveiw considers some of the more widely accepted biological actions of bacterial endotoxin. Early sections concern endotoxin chemical composition, assay techniques, and species variation in toxigenicity. Individual specific actions and classical endotoxin-induced phenomena are presented under headings of pyrogenic effect, hemodynamic effects, disseminated intravascular coagulation, complement system effects, induction of the generalized Shwartzman reaction, effects upon cellular constituents of blood, metabolic and endocrinologic effects, immunologic effects, nervous system effects, hepatic effects, and abortifacient action. The relationship of these effects to clinical manifestations is discussed where warranted.
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