Lipopolysaccharide-binding protein is produced in the epididymis and associated with spermatozoa and prostasomes.J Reprod Immunol. 2005 Jun; 66(1):33-43.JR
Lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) is an acute phase protein known to play a central role in the defense against Gram-negative bacteria. It binds lipopolysaccharides of Gram-negative bacteria and, after binding to CD14, the complex signals through Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4, eliciting host-defense responses, such as cytokine production, in inflammatory cells. The present study demonstrates constitutive expression of the gene encoding lipopolysaccharide-binding protein in the epithelium of the human epididymis by in situ hybridization. Using immunohistochemistry lipopolysaccharide-binding protein was shown to be present in the same cells and also attached to the heads and tails of spermatozoa. Cell-free seminal plasma, lysed spermatozoa and lysed prostasomes were subjected to Western blot; all showed immunoreactive bands corresponding to the size of lipopolysaccharide-binding protein. Gel filtration demonstrated that lipopolysaccharide-binding protein colocalizes with prostasomes. The concentration of lipopolysacharide-binding protein in seminal plasma was 127+/-42ng/mL (mean+/-S.D.; range 73-215ng/mL). Taken together, our results suggest roles for lipopolysaccharide-binding protein during human reproduction.