We studied the interaction of LPS with albumin, hemoglobin or high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and whether the interaction affected the activity of LPS on neutrophils. These proteins disaggregated LPS, depending upon temperature and LPS:protein ratio. Albumin-treated LPS was absorbed by immobilized anti-albumin antibody and was eluted with Triton X-100, indicating that LPS formed a hydrophobic complex with albumin. Rd mutant LPS was not disaggregated by the proteins, and did not form a complex with the proteins. But triethylamine-treated Rd mutant LPS formed complexes. When LPS was incubated with an equal concentration of albumin and with polymyxin B (PMXB), PMXB-LPS-protein three-way complexes were formed. After removal of PMXB, the complexes consisted of 11-15 LPS monomers bound to one albumin or hemoglobin molecule. LPS primed neutrophils for enhanced release of formyl peptide-stimulated superoxide, in a serum- and LPS-binding protein (LBP)-dependent manner. Although LPS plus LBP alone did not prime neutrophils, albumin-, hemoglobin- or HDL-treated LPS primed neutrophils when added with LBP. Triethylamine-treated Rd mutant LPS primed neutrophils only when incubated with one of the proteins and with LBP. Thus, in addition to LBP, disaggregation and complex formation of LPS with one of these proteins is required for LPS to prime neutrophils.
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