In 1949 Lurie1 and his associates of the Henry Phipps Institute, Philadelphia, reported that in rabbits tuberculosis is accompanied by hypertrophy of the adrenal cortex and that the degree of hypertrophy is much greater in genetically resistant strains of rabbits than in susceptible strains. This suggested a positive role of adrenal hormones in tuberculosis resistance. Tests were therefore made2 of the possible prophylactic or therapeutic action of cortisone on air-borne tuberculosis.
Twenty littermates of a genetically uniform and highly susceptible strain of rabbits were divided into two groups of 10 each. One group received intramuscularly 2 mg. of cortisone acetate per kilogram of body weight on alternate days. The second group received the same volume of suspending fluid without cortisone. Three days after the start of cortisone treatment, when the circulating lymphocytes had been markedly depressed and the fasting blood sugar increased in the cortisone-treated animals, both groups