To investigate the potential pathogenic mechanisms of the oral periodontopathogen Wolinella recta ATCC 33238, we have isolated its lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and determined the chemical composition and selected in vitro biological activities of the molecule. Sodium desoxycholate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed the W. recta LPS to be an atypical smooth LPS with short O-antigenic side chains. Chemically the LPS consisted of 47.2% lipid A, 19.6% polysaccharide, 9.0% heptose, 8.5% hexosamine, 3.2% phosphate, and 0.6% 2-keto-3-deoxyoctanoate. The major fatty acids were hexadecanoic acid (25.0%), 3-OH tetradecanoic acid (23.8%), tetradecanoic acid (15.4%), 3-OH hexadecanoic acid (11.6%), and octadecenoic acid (10.9%). Rhamnose constituted 87.8% of the carbohydrates generally associated with the O antigen, with smaller amounts of glucose (5.5%), mannose (4.9%), and an unidentified sugar (1.9%). CD-1 and C3H/HeN macrophages (M phi) exposed to 1 microgram of W. recta LPS per ml released 6.0 and 10.5 ng of prostaglandin E per ml of supernatant, representing 625% and 1,306% of prostaglandin E release by the control (without LPS). Maximum prostaglandin E release occurred in CD-1 M phi exposed to 100 micrograms of LPS per ml and was equivalent to 1,542% of release by the control. Interleukin-1 (IL-1) activities in CD-1 and C3H/HeN M phi exposed to 1 micrograms of LPS per ml were 257% and 1,941% of activities in the control, respectively. Maximum IL-1 release in CD-1 M phi occurred in response to 50 micrograms of LPS per ml and represented a 927% increase over release in the control, while 100 micrograms LPS per ml stimulated maximum IL-1 release in C3H/HeN M phi that was greater than 5,000% of release by the control
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