Four anaesthetised monkeys were given oral kanamycin (15 mg 1 kg 12 hourly) over five consecutive days before being heat stressed. Four other anaesthetised monkeys served as controls. The plasma lipopolysaccharide concentration in control primates increased initially from 0.044 (SEM 0.004) ng/ml to 0.062 (0.006) ng/ml as the rectal temperature increased from 37.5 to 39.5 degrees C. A second increase in lipopolysaccharides started at 42 degrees C and reached 0.308 (0.038) ng/ml (p less than 0.01) at 44.5 degrees C. Before heat stress the plasma lipopolysaccharide concentration in the primates who had been pretreated with kanamycin was 0.007 (0.006) ng/ml, and despite heating these animals to 44.5 degrees C no increase in plasma lipopolysaccharide concentrations were seen in this group. The cardiovascular variable during heat stress were more unstable in the control group and began to deteriorate at a lower temperature than in the group receiving antibiotic. These data suggest that the increased plasma lipopolysaccharide concentration during heat stress originates mainly from the gut.
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