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J Clin Invest. 1974 Aug;54(2):316-25.

Inhibition of penicillin transport from the cerebrospinal fluid after intracisternal inoculation of bacteria.


The effect of intracisternal inoculation of bacteria on the choroid plexus system, which transports penicillin from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to blood, was studied in vitro and in vivo. Meningeal and choroid plexus inflammations as well as CSF pleocytosis were induced in rabbits with intracisternal inoculations of Hemophilus influenzae or Staphylococcus aureus. At various times after bacterial inoculation, the choroid plexuses of the inoculated rabbits were removed and incubated in artificial CSF containing [(14)C]penicillin. The ability of the choroid plexuses to accumulate pencillin in vitro was measured and was found to be depressed as compared with controls. This depression of choroid plexus uptake reversed with resolution of the inflammatory process. In vivo on the day after intracisternal inoculation of Hemophilus influenzae, a decrease in the disappearance of penicillin relative to inulin in the inoculated rabbits (as compared to the controls) was observed when [(14)C]penicillin and [(3)H]inulin were injected intraventricularly and cisternal CSF was sampled 2 h later. This decrease could not be explained by penicillin binding to the CSF exudate. However, the choroid plexus transport system for penicillin was only partially depressed in those inoculated rabbits with bacterially induced inflammation, since in vitro the choroid plexuses could still accumulate penicillin and in vivo CSF penicillin levels could be further increased with probenecid pretreatment. These results suggest that CSF penicillin levels are increased in this model due to three factors: a depression of active efflux of penicillin from the CSF, an increase in permeability to penicillin of inflamed meninges, and, less significantly, by CSF binding of penicillin.

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