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J Toxicol Environ Health. 1997 Aug 8;51(5):415-35.

Pathobiology of lipopolysaccharide.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock 72205, USA.


Lipopolysaccharide is a component of the gram-negative bacterial cell wall that is responsible for 25,000-50,000 deaths in the United States each year. The sequelae of gram-negative infection and septicemia leading to death include fever, hypotension with inadequate tissue perfusion, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. It is clear that different cell types respond differently to lipopolysaccharide. Furthermore, various autacoids and cytokines are released that can affect cellular function even in cell types that do not recognize lipopolysaccharide. Despite advances made in the etiology of septic shock and organ failure, therapy is still for the most part supportive and largely ineffective. The aim of this review is to summarize the current understanding of the role of lipopolysaccharide in the development of septicemia by examining signal transduction and therapeutic approaches.

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