Lipopolysaccharide: a p38 MAPK-dependent disrupter of neutrophil chemotaxis

Microcirculation. Jul-Aug 2005;12(5):421-32. doi: 10.1080/10739680590960368.


In sepsis, and in models of sepsis including endotoxemia, impaired neutrophil recruitment and chemotaxis have been reported. The inability of the endotoxemic neutrophil to chemotax could be attributed to the fact that intracellular signaling via LPS overrides signals from endogenous chemokines or, alternatively, that sequestration of neutrophils into lungs prevents access to peripheral tissues. Using both in vitro and in vivo chemotaxis assays the authors established that neutrophils from healthy mice chemotaxed in vivo toward MIP-2, whereas endotoxemic neutrophils did not. Since LPS activates leukocytes via the p38 MAPK pathway, SKF86002, a p38 MAPK inhibitor, was given to endotoxemic animals. SKF86002 significantly reversed the LPS-induced impairment in emigration of endotoxic neutrophils in response to MIP-2. Neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro was also impaired by LPS, via a p38 MAPK-dependent pathway, and this impairment could be reversed via p38 MAPK inhibition. Although neutrophil numbers dropped in the circulation and trapped in lungs during endotoxemia, SKF86002 did not reverse these parameters, demonstrating that p38 MAPK inhibition did not release trapped neutrophils from the lungs. In conclusion, the data suggest that the impaired emigration and chemotaxis of neutrophils at peripheral sites during endotoxemia may be partially due to a p38 MAPK-mediated inhibition of neutrophil responses to endogenous chemokines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemokine CXCL2
  • Chemokines / physiology
  • Chemotaxis*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neutrophils / drug effects
  • Neutrophils / physiology*
  • Sepsis / chemically induced
  • Thiazoles / pharmacology
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*


  • Chemokine CXCL2
  • Chemokines
  • Cxcl2 protein, mouse
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Imidazoles
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Thiazoles
  • 6-(4-fluorophenyl)-2,3-dihydro-5-(4-pyridinyl)imidazo(2,1-b)thiazole
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases