Lipopolysaccharides (LPS), otherwise termed 'endotoxins', are outer-membrane constituents of Gram-negative bacteria, and play a key role in the pathogenesis of 'Septic Shock', a major cause of mortality in the critically ill patient. We had previously defined the pharmacophore necessary for small molecules to specifically bind and neutralize LPS and, using animal models of sepsis, have shown that the sequestration of circulatory LPS by small molecules is a therapeutically viable strategy. Polyamidoamine dendrimers, with the surface amines substoichiometrically derivatized with alkyl groups bind LPS with high affinity, neutralize LPS-induced inflammatory responses in vitro, and afford protection in a murine model of endotoxic shock. Dendrimers represent a new class of potentially useful compounds for the therapy of Gram-negative sepsis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported from NIH grants 5U01AI-056476, 1R01 AI50107, and a First Award Grant from P20 RR015563 from the COBRE Program of the National Center for Research Resources and matching support from the State of Kansas, and the University of Kansas.