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The impact of bacterial lipolysaccharides on the endothelial system: pathological consequences and therapeutic countermeasures.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, Immunology, Policlinico, Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124, Bari, Italy.


Endothelial cells (ECs) express on their membrane Toll like receptor (TLR)-4 and, therefore, are able to interact with lipopolysaccharides (LPS) or endotoxins, major constituents of the gram-negative bacteria outer membrane. The impact of LPS on ECs can be either direct or mediated via release of cytokines and/or chemokines originated from monocytes/macrophages. In this review, the effect of the interaction between LPS and ECs on the outcome of various human diseases such as preeclampsia, hereditary haemorrhagic teleangiectasia, atherosclerosis and sepsis will be illustrated. Finally, the major therapeutic attempts aimed at neutralizing LPS and, therefore, their influence on ECs will be discussed.

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