Administration of a long-acting prostaglandin E, 16,16-dimethyl-PGE (dPGE), to rats improves their survival of bacterial peritonitis. We examined the mechanism of this protective effect with reference to its interaction with the release of cachectin (TNF). Sixty rats received saline, 20 μg/kg dPGE, or 80 μg/kg dPGE 12 hr prior to endotoxin and continuing for 48 hr. Survival rates for the saline, 20 μg/kg dPGE, and 80 μg/kg dPGE groups were 0, 40, and 85%, respectively. Forty rats received saline or 80 μg/kg dPGE, with the initial dose being 3 hr following endotoxin challenge and continuing for 48 hr. Survival rates for both groups were 0%. Sixty rats received saline or 80 μg/kg dPGE at 12 and 1 hr prior to endotoxin. Two hours after challenge, they were sacrificed and plasma TNF levels were assayed. The plasma TNF level in saline-treated rats was 22.72 ± 0.83 ng/ml and in the dPGE-treated group, 16.03 ± 1.13 ng/ml (P < 0.001).
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