Objective: To identify a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) that retains the capacity to induce beta-chemokine secretion without the concomitant activation of pyrogenic cytokines.
Methods: LPS was extracted from strain MLK986 (mLPS), an htrB1::Tn10, msbB::ocam mutant of Escherichia coli that is defective for lipid A synthesis, and from wild-type parent E coli strains, W3110 (wtLPS). The capacity of these LPS preparations to induce tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), and macrophage inflammatory proteins 1 alpha (MIP-1 alpha) and MIP-1 beta was assessed using a human peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) activation assay.
Results: Stimulation of PBMCs with mLPS did not induce measurable levels of pyrogenic cytokines TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta, whereas wtLPS induced high levels of these cytokines. Furthermore, mLPS antagonized the induction of TNF-alpha secretion by wtLPS. Nonetheless, mLPS retained a discrete agonist activity that induced MIP-1 alpha and MIP-1 beta secretion by PBMCs. This latter agonist activity appears to be unique to mLPS, since two previously documented LPS antagonists, Rhodobacter sphaeroides diphosphoryl lipid A and synthetic lipid IVA, did not induce MIP-1 alpha and MIP-1 beta secretion. Furthermore, synthetic lipid IVA was an antagonist of MIP-1 alpha and MIP-1 beta induction by mLPS.
Conclusion: These results show that mLPS exhibits a novel bipartite activity, being an effective antagonist of TNF-alpha induction by wtLPS, while paradoxically being an agonist of MIP-1 alpha and MIP-1 beta secretion.