Highly purified lipopolysaccharides from Burkholderia cepacia complex clinical isolates induce inflammatory cytokine responses via TLR4-mediated MAPK signalling pathways and activation of NFkappaB

Cell Microbiol. 2007 Feb;9(2):532-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2006.00808.x. Epub 2006 Sep 26.


In cystic fibrosis (CF), bacteria of the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) can induce a fulminant inflammation with pneumonitis and sepsis. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) may be an important virulence factor associated with this decline but little is known about the molecular pathogenesis of Bcc LPS. In this study we have investigated the inflammatory response to highly purified LPS from different Bcc clinical isolates and the cellular signalling pathways employed. The inflammatory response (TNFalpha, IL-6) was measured in human MonoMac 6 monocytes and inhibition experiments were used to investigate the Toll-like receptors and associated adaptor molecules and pathways utilized. LPS from all clinical Bcc isolates induced significant pro-inflammatory cytokines and utilized TLR4 and CD14 to mediate activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, IkappaB-alpha degradation and NFkappaB activation. However, LPS from different clinical isolates of the same clonal strain of Burkholderia cenocepacia were found to induce a varied inflammatory response. LPS from clinical isolates of Burkholderia multivorans was found to activate the inflammatory response via MyD88-independent pathways. This study suggests that LPS alone from clinical isolates of Bcc is an important virulence factor in CF and utilizes TLR4-mediated signalling pathways to induce a significant inflammatory response.

MeSH terms

  • Burkholderia Infections / immunology
  • Burkholderia cepacia complex / chemistry*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharides / chemistry
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 1 / metabolism*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / immunology


  • Cytokines
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • TLR4 protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 1