Role of CD14 in Lung Inflammation and Infection

  • A. Anas
  • T. Van Der Poll
  • A. F. De Vas
Conference paper


Toll-like receptors (TLR) on the surface of cells of the respiratory tract play an essential role in sensing the presence of microorganisms in the airways and lungs. These receptors trigger inflammatory responses, activate innate immune responses, and prime adaptive immune responses to eradicate invading microbes [1]. TLR are members of a family of pattern-recognition receptors, which recognize molecular structures of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa (pathogen-associated molecular patterns or PAMPs), as well as endogenous structures and proteins released during inflammation (damage/danger-associated molecular patterns or DAMPs). To date, ten different TLR have been identified in humans and twelve in mice. TLR are expressed on all cells of the immune system, but also on parenchymal cells of many organs and tissues. The binding of a PAMP to a TLR results in cellular activation and initiates a variety of effector functions, including cytokine secretion, proliferation’ co-stimulation or phagocyte maturation. To facilitate microbial recognition and to amplify cellular responses, certain TLR require additional proteins, such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) binding protein (LBP), CD14, CD36 and high mobility group box-l protein (HMGB-l). In this chapter, the role of CD14 as an accessory receptor for TLR in lung inflammation and infection is discussed. The central role of CD14 in the recognition of various PAMPs and amplification of immune and inflammatory responses in the lung is depicted in Fig. 1.

Fig. 1.

Central role of CD14 in pathogen- and pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-induced responses in the lung. CD14, which lacks an intracellular domain for signal transduction, is expressed on the surface of alveolar macrophages, infiltrating monocytes and neutrophils, and at lower levels also on epithelial and endothelial cells in the lung. CD14 recognizes and binds various structures from invading microbes, such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Gram-negative bacteria, lipoteichoic acid (LTA) from Gram-positive bacteria, lipoarabinomannan (LAM) from mycobacteria, viral double stranded (ds) RNA and F glycoprotein (F-gp) from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). CD14 subsequently transfers these bound components to Toll-like receptors (TLR) which than trigger cell activation. Binding of LPS to CD14 is regulated by additional accessory receptors in the lung, including LPS-binding protein (LBP) and a number of surfactant proteins (SP). Furthermore, soluble CD14 (sCD14) enhances LPS-induced activation of cells with low CD14 expression. Depending on the microbe and the PAMPs it expresses, CD14-amplified responses can either be beneficial to the host by induction of an adequate inflammatory and immune response to eradicate the invading microbe, or detrimental to the host by excessive inflammation and/or dissemination of the pathogen.


Respiratory Syncytial Virus Respir Crit Lung Inflammation Neutrophil Influx Muramyl Dipeptide 
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

© Springer Science + Business Media Inc. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Anas
    • 1
  • T. Van Der Poll
    • 1
  • A. F. De Vas
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine Center of infection and ImmunityAcademic Medical CenterAmsterdamNetherlands

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