Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-binding protein (LBP), an opsonin for activation of macrophages by bacterial LPS, is synthesized in hepatocytes and is known to be an acute phase protein. Recently, cytokine-induced production of LBP was reported to increase 10-fold in hepatocytes isolated from LPS- treated rats, compared with those from normal rats. However, the mechanism by which the LPS treatment enhances the effect of cytokines remains to be clarified. In the present study, we examined whether LPS alone or an LPS/LBP complex directly stimulates the hepatocytes, leading to acceleration of the cytokine-induced LBP production. HepG2 cells (a human hepatoma cell line) were shown to express CD14, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored LPS receptor, by both RT/PCR and flow cytometric analyses. An LPS/LBP complex was an effective stimulator for LBP and CD14 production in HepG2 cells, but stimulation of the cells with either LPS or LBP alone did not significantly accelerate the production of these proteins. The findings were confirmed by semiquantitative RT/PCR analysis of mRNA levels of LBP and CD14 in HepG2 cells after stimulation with LPS alone and an LPS/LBP complex. In addition, two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to CD14 (3C10 and MEM-18) inhibited LPS/LBP- induced cellular responses of HepG2 cells. Furthermore, prestimulation of HepG2 cells with LPS/LBP augmented cytokine-induced production and gene expression of LBP and CD14. All these findings suggest that an LPS/LBP complex, but not free LPS, stimulates HepG2 cells via CD14 leading to increased basal and cytokine-induced LBP and CD14 production.
- Acute phase protein
- Lipopolysaccharide-binding protein
ASJC Scopus subject areas