The clearance and activity of different types of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) released during infection with Gram- negative bacteria were investigated. When highly purified preparations differing in their specific endotoxin activity were administered intravenously to mice, the clearance of rough (R)-form LPS preparations from Salmonella minnesota and Escherichia coli was much faster than that of a smooth (S)-form LPS preparation from Salmonella abortus equi, but slower than that of lipooligosaccharides (LOS) preparations from Bordetella pertussis and Helicobacter pylori. After intraperitoneal infection with 10<sup>⁷</sup> and 10<sup>⁸</sup> CFU E. coli O111:B4, relatively high levels of LPS were detected dose-dependently in the plasma of infected mice and persisted for a long time. In addition, plasma sCD14 levels in infected mice were higher than in LPS-administered mice. These results indicate that continuously higher levels of plasma LPS followed by stronger host responses occur during infection and suggest that these differences between LPS-administered and infected mice should be taken into consideration when analyzing host responses induced by LPS
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