The protective effect of flavonoids on two types of lethal endotoxic shock was studied. A lethal endotoxic shock was induced by administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into D-galactosamine (D-GalN)-sensitized mice and another one was done by administration of a high dose of LPS into normal mice. Pretreatment with a series of flavonoids protected mice from two types of endotoxin lethality. Flavonoid pretreatment reduced the serum tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) level in mice injected with D-GalN and LPS, but not in mice injected with a high dose of LPS. TNF-α-induced lethal shock in D-GalN-sensitized mice was also protected by pretreatment with flavonoids, suggesting that flavonoids augmented the resistance to TNF-α lethality. On the other hand, flavonoids reduced the plasma level of lipid peroxides in mice injected with a high dose of LPS, but not in D-GalN-sensitized mice. Taken together, these results indicated that flavonoids might protect mice from two types of endotoxin lethality. The protective mechanism of flavonoids in each endotoxin lethality is discussed.
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