Surface structures of bacteria contribute to the microbial pathogenic potential and are capable of causing local and generalized inflammatory reactions. Among these factors, endotoxin and peptidoglycan are of particular medical importance. Both toxic bacterial polymers are now recognized to interact with the same cellular receptor, the CD14 molecule, which is expressed on different types of immune cells, in particular, monocytes/macrophages. The interaction between these bacterial activators and CD14 leads to the production of endogenous mediators such as tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin 1 (IL-1), and IL-6, which are ultimately responsible for phlogistic responses. The fact that CD14 recognizes not only endotoxin and peptidoglycan but also other glycosyl-based microbial polymers suggests that this cellular surface molecule represents a lectin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)