Increase in intradermal vascular permeability caused by pertussis toxin from Bordetella pertussis

Microbiol Immunol. 1987;31(6):531-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1348-0421.1987.tb03115.x.


Rabbits that were injected intradermally with pertussis toxin (PT), produced from Bordetella pertussis, showed slight edema and erythema at the injection sites, but not hemorrhage nor necrosis. The edema lesions were stained blue by the intravenous injection of Pontamine Sky Blue 6B dye, suggesting that PT caused increased vascular permeability, similarly to the permeability factor (PF) of cholera toxin. The reaction of the PF of PT could be determined by measuring the diameter of the blue area. The diameter of the blue area bore a good linear relationship to the logarithm of the dose of PT. The activity of the PF was neutralized by anti-PT rabbit serum. Detoxification of PT with formalin did not increase the vascular permeability, but reverted pertussis toxoid showed a PF reaction in proportion to the reverted leukocytosis-promoting and histamine-sensitizing activities of PT. The supernate of a Bordetella pertussis culture also induced a PF reaction and the reaction could be made clear by heating the supernate at 56 C for 30 min, but the supernate of Bordetella bronchiseptica did not induce the reaction at all.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bordetella pertussis
  • Female
  • Immune Sera
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Pertussis Toxin*
  • Skin / blood supply*
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / pathology
  • Time Factors
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella / immunology
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella / isolation & purification
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella / toxicity*


  • Immune Sera
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella
  • Pertussis Toxin