Hemodynamic effects of anthrax toxins in the rabbit model and the cardiac pathology induced by lethal toxin

William S. Lawrence, Jeffrey R. Marshall, Diana L. Zavala, Lori E. Weaver, Wallace B. Baze, Scott T. Moen, Elbert B. Whorton, Randy L. Gourley, Johnny W. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Anthrax lethal toxin (LeTx) and edema toxin (EdTx) have been shown to alter hemodynamics in the rodent model, while LeTx primarily is reported to induce extensive tissue pathology. However, the rodent model has limitations when used for comparison to higher organisms such as humans. The rabbit model, on the other hand, has gained recognition as a useful model for studying anthrax infection and its pathophysiological effects. In this study, we assessed the hemodynamic effects of lethal toxin (LeTx) and edema toxin (EdTx) in the rabbit model using physiologically relevant amounts of the toxins. Moreover, we further examine the pathological effects of LeTx on cardiac tissue. We intravenously injected Dutch-belted rabbits with either low-dose and high-dose recombinant LeTx or a single dose of EdTx. The animals' heart rate and mean arterial pressure were continuously monitored via telemetry until either 48 or 72 h post-challenge. Additional animals challenged with LeTx were used for cardiac troponin I (cTnI) quantitation, cardiac histopathology, and echocardiography. LeTx depressed heart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-736
Number of pages16
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Anthrax
  • Cardiac
  • Lethal toxin
  • Rabbit model
  • References

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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