The amount and nature of mucopolysaccharides present in extraction fluids routinely obtained in the isolation procedure of Treponema pallidum from infected rabbit testes was investigated. The mean quantity of mucopolysaccharides extracted from both testes of groups of 10 rabbits was 3.09 mg after infection for seven days and 26.88 mg after infection for 12 days, while from the testes of uninfected rabbits a mean of 0.42 mg was obtained. On electrophoresis the isolated mucopolysaccharides showed only one single band with the migration characteristics of hyaluronic acid. This band disappeared completely after pretreatment with hyaluronidase from bovine testes, which showed that during infection with T pallidum increasing amounts of hyaluronic acid accumulate. They can, at least in part, be extracted by a gentle extraction procedure, suggesting that this material binds loosely. The amount of hyaluronic acid isolated 12 days after infection showed positive correlations with the wet weight of testes as well as the number of treponemes isolated; seven days after infection such correlations were not present.
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