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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

High concentrations of lipopolysaccharide-binding protein in serum of patients with severe sepsis or septic shock inhibit the lipopolysaccharide response in human monocytes.

Lipopolysaccharide-binding protein ( LBP), an acute-phase protein recognizing lipopolysaccharide (LPS), catalyzes in low concentrations its transfer to the cellular LPS receptor consisting of CD14 and Toll-like receptor-4. It has recently been shown that high concentrations of recombinant LBP can protect mice in a peritonitis model from the lethal effects of LPS. To determine whether in humans the acute-phase rise of LBP concentrations can inhibit LPS binding to monocytes and induction of proinflammatory cytokines, LBP concentrations were analyzed in 63 patients meeting the American College of Chest Physicians/Society of Critical Care Medicine criteria of severe sepsis or septic shock and the ability of these sera to modulate LPS effects in vitro was assessed employing different assays. Transfer of fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled LPS to human monocytes was assessed by a fluorescence-activated cell sorter-based method, and activation of monocytes was investigated by measuring LPS-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha secretion in the presence of the sera. Anti- LBP antibodies and recombinant human LBP were instrumental for depletion and reconstitution of acute-phase sera and subsequent assessment of their modulating effects on LPS activity. Sera of patients with severe sepsis/septic shock exhibited a diminished LPS transfer activity and LPS- induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha secretion as compared with sera from healthy controls. LBP depletion of sepsis sera and addition of rhLBP resulting in concentrations found in severe sepsis confirmed that LBP was the major serum component responsible for the observed effects. In summary, the inhibition of LPS effects by high concentrations of LBP in acute-phase serum, as described here, may represent a novel defense mechanism of the host in severe sepsis and during bacterial infections.[1]


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