The effects of endotoxin pretreatment on induction of in vivo tolerance to endotoxin lethality, and on in vitro stimulated peritoneal macrophage mediators, thromboxane (TX)B2 and interleukin 6 (IL-6) were investigated. Rats were given i.p. injections of S. enteritidis endotoxin on days 1 (100 μg/kg) and 2 (500 μg/kg), respectively. After 5 days, or after 2–8 weeks of initial pretreatment, either endotoxin-induced mortality was assessed, or peritoneal cells were harvested for the in vitro studies. Endotoxin tolerant rats were resistant (p < 05) to endotoxin lethality for 2 weeks after initial induction of tolerance. In vitro studies with peritoneal macrophages demonstrated that endotoxin or monophosphoryl lipid A stimulated (p < .05) TXB2 production. However, peritoneal cells harvested from endotoxin tolerant rats exhibited suppressed (*p < .05) TXB2 production to both stimuli which persisted for at least 8 weeks. Endotoxin stimulated (p < .05) in vitro levels of IL-6 in control cells, but in contrast to the suppressed TXB2 production in tolerance, also stimulated (p < .05) in vitro IL-6 in the endotoxin tolerant group. Paradoxically, lipid A did not induce IL-6 production in either group. These composite observations suggest that during endotoxin tolerance neither in vitro peritoneal macrophage TXB2 nor IL-6 synthesis temporally correlate with in vivo resistance to lethality.
©1994The Shock Society