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J Immunol. 1996 Jun 1;156(11):4384-90.

Stimulation of macrophages and neutrophils by complexes of lipopolysaccharide and soluble CD14.

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Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Sensitive responses of monocytes, macrophages, and neutrophils to bacterial LPS require membrane-bound CD14 (mCD14) and a plasma protein called LPS-binding protein (LBP). Cells lacking mCD14 respond to complexes of LPS and soluble CD14 (sCD14); these responses do not require LBP. To determine whether LBP is necessary for responses of mCD14-bearing cells to LPS, we measured responses of macrophages and neutrophils to complexes of LPS and sCD14 formed in the absence of LBP. We found that the amount of LPS needed to induce adhesive responses of neutrophils or cytokine production by macrophages was the same whether LPS was added with LBP or as LPS-sCD14 complexes, and was >100-fold less than when LPS was added alone. This result supports the view that LBP transfers LPS to CD14, but is not directly involved in responses of CD14-bearing cells to LPS. Responses of neutrophils to LPS-sCD14 complexes could be inhibited partially by blocking mCD14, suggesting that LPS may move rapidly from sCD14 to mCD14. Additionally, we found that responses of neutrophils to LBP and smooth LPS were made 30 to 100 times more sensitive when sCD14 was added. Our findings show that LBP is not necessary for the activation of CD14-bearing cells with LPS, and suggest that LPS-sCD14 complexes are an important intermediate in the inflammatory responses of leukocytes to LPS.

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