Non-enterobacterial endotoxins stimulate human coronary artery but not venous endothelial cell activation via toll-like receptor 2

Clett Erridge, Corinne M. Spickett, David J. Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To determine whether non-enterobacterial endotoxins, which are likely to constitute the majority of the circulating endotoxin pool, may stimulate coronary artery endothelial cell activation. Interleukin-8 secretion, monocyte adhesion, and E-selectin expression were measured in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) challenged in vitro with highly purified endotoxins of common host colonisers Escherichia coli, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Bacteroides fragilis. HCAECs but not HUVECs expressed Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2 and were responsive to non-enterobacterial endotoxins. Transfection of TLR-deficient HEK-293 cells with TLR2 or TLR4/MD2 revealed that while E. coli endotoxin utilised solely TLR4 to signal, the endotoxins, deglycosylated endotoxins (lipid-A), and whole heat-killed bacteria of the other species stimulated TLR2-but not TLR4-dependent cell-signalling. Blockade of TLR2 with neutralizing antibody prevented HCAEC activation by non-enterobacterial endotoxins. Comparison of each endotoxin with E. coli endotoxin in limulus amoebocyte lysate assay revealed that the non-enterobacterial endotoxins are greatly underestimated by this assay, which has been used in all previous studies to estimate plasma endotoxin concentrations. Circulating non-enterobacterial endotoxins may be an underestimated contributor to endothelial activation and atherosclerosis in individuals at risk of increased plasma endotoxin burden.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-189
Number of pages9
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • endotoxins endothelial
  • atherosclerosis
  • receptors
  • infection
  • inflammation
  • signal transduction
  • Pharmacy and materia medica


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