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J Immunol. 1999 Dec 1;163(11):6139-47.

Lipoteichoic acid inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced adhesion molecule expression and IL-8 release in human lung microvascular endothelial cells.

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  • 1Applied Pharmacology and Unit of Critical Care, National Heart and Lung Institute Division, Imperial College School of Medicine, London, United Kingdom.


Cell adhesion molecule expression (CAM) and IL-8 release in lung microvascular endothelium facilitate neutrophil accumulation in the lung. This study investigated the effects of lipoteichoic acid (LTA), a cell wall component of Gram-positive bacteria, alone and with LPS or TNF-alpha, on CAM expression and IL-8 release in human lung microvascular endothelial cells (HLMVEC). The concentration-dependent effects of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) LTA (0.3-30 microg/ml) on ICAM-1 and E-selectin expression and IL-8 release were bell shaped. Streptococcus pyogenes (S. pyogenes) LTA had no effect on CAM expression, but caused a concentration-dependent increase in IL-8 release. S. aureus and S. pyogenes LTA (30 microg/ml) abolished LPS-induced CAM expression, and S. aureus LTA reduced LPS-induced IL-8 release. In contrast, the effects of S. aureus LTA with TNF-alpha on CAM expression and IL-8 release were additive. Inhibitory effects of LTA were not due to decreased HLMVEC viability, as assessed by ethidium homodimer-1 uptake. Changes in neutrophil adhesion to HLMVEC paralleled changes in CAM expression. Using RT-PCR to assess mRNA levels, S. aureus LTA (3 microg/ml) caused a protein synthesis-dependent reduction (75%) in LPS-induced IL-8 mRNA and decreased the IL-8 mRNA half-life from >6 h with LPS to approximately 2 h. These results suggest that mechanisms exist to prevent excessive endothelial cell activation in the presence of high concentrations of bacterial products. However, inhibition of HLMVEC CAM expression and IL-8 release ultimately may contribute to decreased neutrophil accumulation, persistence of bacteria in the lung, and increased severity of infection.

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