UMMS Affiliation

Department of Emergency Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Interleukin-8; Blood Cells; Endotoxins


Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Emergency Medicine | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


BACKGROUND: Bacterial endotoxin, long recognized as a potent pro-inflammatory mediator in acute infectious processes, has more recently been identified as a risk factor for atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. When endotoxin enters the bloodstream, one of the first cells activated is the circulating monocyte, which exhibits a wide range of pro-inflammatory responses.

METHODS: We studied the effect of low doses of E. coli LPS on IL-8 release and superoxide formation by freshly isolated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).

RESULTS: IL-8 release was consistently detectable at 10 pg/ml of endotoxin, reaching a maximum at 1 ng/ml, and was exclusively produced by monocytes; the lymphocytes neither produced IL-8, nor affected monocyte IL-8 release. Superoxide production was detectable at 30 pg/ml of endotoxin, reaching a maximum at 3 ng/ml. Peak respiratory burst activity was seen at 15-20 min, and superoxide levels returned to baseline by 1 h. IL-8 release was dependent on both membrane-associated CD14 (mCD14) and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4. Superoxide production was dependent on the presence of LBP, but was not significantly affected by a blocking antibody to TLR4. Moreover, treatment with lovastatin inhibited LPS-dependent IL-8 release and superoxide production.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that IL-8 release and the respiratory burst are regulated by distinct endotoxin-dependent signaling pathways in PBMC in low level of endotoxin exposure. Selectively modulating these pathways could lead to new approaches to treat chronic inflammatory diseases, such as atherosclerosis, while preserving the capacity of monocytes to respond to acute bacterial infections.

Rights and Permissions

© 2011 Blomkalns et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



J Inflamm (Lond). 2011 Feb 25;8:4. Link to article on publisher's site 2011 Blomkalns et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of inflammation (London, England)

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID