Bacterial Endotoxins: Relationships between Chemical Structure and Biological Activity of the Inner Core-Lipid a Domain

  • Ernst Th. Rietschel
  • Lore Brade
  • Ulrich Schade
  • Ulrich Seydel
  • Ulrich Zähringer
  • Otto Holst
  • Hella-Monika Kuhn
  • Vladimir A. Kulschin
  • Anthony P. Moran
  • Helmut Brade
Part of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies Symposium Series book series (FEMS, volume 51)


Gram-negative bacteria such as the Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonadaceae express at their surface various amphiphilic macromolecules among which the endotoxins are of special microbiological, immunological and medical significance. Endotoxins are essential for the organization and function of the bacterial outer membrane, and, thus, for bacterial growth and survival. As surface structures, endotoxins represent the main immunoreactive antigens (0-antigens) of gram-negative bacteria, and they are involved in the binding of antibodies and nonimmunoglobulin serum factors, and, thus, in the specific recognition and elimination of bacteria by the host organism’s defense system. Further, endotoxins are endowed with a broad spectrum of biological (endotoxic) activities, such as pyrogenicity and lethal toxicity, and they contribute to the pathogenic potential of gram-negative bacteria. Finally, endotoxins activate B-lymphocytes and mononuclear cells and are potent immunostimulators. By virtue of their biological activities they also seem to be involved in certain physiological host-parasite interactions.


Inner Core Chlamydia Trachomatis Outer Core Lethal Toxicity Bacterial Outer Membrane 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernst Th. Rietschel
    • 1
  • Lore Brade
    • 1
  • Ulrich Schade
    • 1
  • Ulrich Seydel
    • 1
  • Ulrich Zähringer
    • 1
  • Otto Holst
    • 1
  • Hella-Monika Kuhn
    • 1
  • Vladimir A. Kulschin
    • 1
  • Anthony P. Moran
    • 1
  • Helmut Brade
    • 1
  1. 1.Forschungsinstitut BorstelInstitut für Experimentelle Biologie und MedizinBorstelGermany

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