CD14 and Toll-like receptor 4/MD2 (TLR4/MD2) mediate the action of LPS on neutrophils. The anti-CD14 antibody and the TLR4/MD2-antagonist, synthetic lipid IVa (LA-14-PP), are known to inhibit the response of neutrophils to LPS. We studied the role of CD14 in LPS-induced priming of neutrophils for enhanced release of the superoxide anion. The anti-CD14 antibody at much higher concentrations than required to saturate CD14 was required to inhibit priming by LPS. The inhibitory effect of the anti-CD14 antibody was overcome by LPS. After washing, anti-CD14-treated neutrophils showed upregulated CD14 upon incubation at 37°C and responded to LPS with a delayed time-course. Thus, CD14-blocked neutrophils gained responsiveness to LPS through newly upregulated CD14. These results suggested that the unbound/free anti-CD14 antibody was essential to inhibit LPS-induced priming by blocking CD14 that were newly expressed during incubation at 37°C. LA-14-PP inhibited the response of neutrophils to LPS in an anti-CD14 antibody sensitive manner. When neutrophils were treated with LA-14-PP followed by treatment with the anti-CD14 antibody, CD14 was upregulated upon warming, but priming was blocked, suggesting that TLR4/MD2 was not newly expressed by warming in association with CD14 molecules. Thus, in addition to blocking CD14, the anti-CD14 antibody was found to induce the expression of new CD14.
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