The Effect of Staphylococcus Enterotoxin on Isolated Rabbit Gut Segments

Julius J. Richmond, C. I. Reed, H. J. Shaughnessy, V. Michael
1942 Journal of Bacteriology  
It is the purpose of this paper to report some observations on the response of rabbit intestinal muscle to the enterotoxin extracted from strains of staphylococcus cultured from food known to have produced attacks of food poisoning. The cultural, epidemiological and other aspects of this subject have been discussed by several authors (Barber, 1914; Dack, Cary, Woolpert and Wiggers, 1930; Jordan, 1931; Jordan and Burrows, 1934) and the literature has been reviewed by Richmond (1939) . Except for
more » ... (1939) . Except for descriptions of the clinical symptoms, indicating general gastrointestinal irritation, little attention has been given to the physiological mechanisms involved in this train of sequelae. The rapid onset suggested muscular disturbance, consequently the first approach was made in experiments on segments of rabbit intestine. More recently Bayliss (1940) has published an experimental study of enterotoxin emesis in kittens. A brief paragraph in this paper refers to experiments similar to ours on cat and rabbit intestinal strips, from which the conclusion was drawn that the enterotoxin has no direct effect on smooth muscle. No detailed data were given. However, in the description of the gross responses of the animals to injections of enterotoxin, Bayliss mentions defecation and loss of appetite. The postmortem examinations showed "excessive mucus" in the tract. These observations certainly suggest local irritation. Bayliss finally concluded that the main action of enterotoxin is on peripheral sensory structures, secondly on the vomiting center, with no important influence on the musculature. In view of the paucity of data on intestinal strips we do not feel that our observations are controverted. Since we did no experiments on intact animals we have no data on emesis. The two studies, therefore, deal mainly with different mechanisms, both of which are involved in the response to enterotoxin by the intact organism. EXPERIMENTAL TECHNICQUE Contiguous segments of jejunum, about 4 cm. long, were isolated immediately after the rabbit was killed by a blow on the neck, and suspended in oxygenated Ringer solution at pH 7.3 and 38°C. To determine the r6le of the 1 Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Physiology, 1939. The investigation was suggested by H. J. S. 201 on May 9, 2020 by guest
doi:10.1128/jb.44.2.201-205.1942 fatcat:qsijg3qbrvd7rk3slpshqimhdy