Decrease in ribosomal density of Proteus mirabilis exposed to subinhibitory concentrations of ampicillin or cephalothin.

V. Lorian, L. D. Sabath, M. Simionescu, D. W. Watson

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The finding of reduced ribosomal densities at lower concentrations than those required to stop growth or cause visible defects in the cell wall is in contrast to the current view that the initial lesion produced by penicillins or cephalosporins is a defect in murein synthesis (11). This reduction in ribosomal density could be a primary or secondary effect and might be due to a decreased rate of growth, which has been shown to be associated with a lower ribosome frequency (12, 13) or to less stable ribosomes which disintegrated either spontaneously or as a result of the fixation procedures. The possibility that the decrease in ribosomal frequency was due to dilution (influx of liquid through a defective cell wall and/or cytoplasmic membrane, or efflux of ribosomes) remains, but no gross defect in cell wall was seen in more than 50 sections of cells showing reductions in ribosomal frequency. These findings suggest that an effect on ribosomes may antecede an effect on the cell wall.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)731-735
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1975


  • Ampicillin/pd [Pharmacology]
  • Cephalothin/pd [Pharmacology]
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Proteus mirabilis/de [Drug Effects]
  • Proteus mirabilis/ph [Physiology]
  • Proteus mirabilis/ul [Ultrastructure]
  • Ribosomes/de [Drug Effects]
  • Ribosomes/ul [Ultrastructure]
  • Time Factors

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