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J Lipid Res. 2009 Jan;50(1):90-7. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M800156-JLR200. Epub 2008 Sep 24.

Chylomicrons promote intestinal absorption of lipopolysaccharides.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.


Recent data suggest that dietary fat promotes intestinal absorption of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from the gut microflora, which might contribute to various inflammatory disorders. The mechanism of fat-induced LPS absorption is unclear, however. Intestinal-epithelial cells can internalize LPS from the apical surface and transport LPS to the Golgi. The Golgi complex also contains newly formed chylomicrons, the lipoproteins that transport dietary long-chain fat through mesenteric lymph and blood. Because LPS has affinity for chylomicrons, we hypothesized that chylomicron formation promotes LPS absorption. In agreement with our hypothesis, we found that CaCo-2 cells released more cell-associated LPS after incubation with oleic-acid (OA), a long-chain fatty acid that induces chylomicron formation, than with butyric acid (BA), a short-chain fatty acid that does not induce chylomicron formation. Moreover, the effect of OA was blocked by the inhibitor of chylomicron formation, Pluronic L-81. We also observed that intragastric triolein (TO) gavage was followed by increased plasma LPS, whereas gavage with tributyrin (TB), or TO plus Pluronic L-81, was not. Most intestinally absorbed LPS was present on chylomicron remnants (CM-R) in the blood. Chylomicron formation also promoted transport of LPS through mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) and the production of TNFalpha mRNA in the MLN. Together, our data suggest that intestinal epithelial cells may release LPS on chylomicrons from cell-associated pools. Chylomicron-associated LPS may contribute to postprandial inflammatory responses or chronic diet-induced inflammation in chylomicron target tissues.

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