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Endotoxin is lipopolysaccharide (LPS) a component of the other membrane of most gram negative bacteria. Administration of endotoxin results in the systemic inflammatory response syndrome and subsequent multiple organ failure.

LPS directly induces upregulation of $\beta_2$ integrins on leucocytes and expression of P and E selectins and ICAM-1 on endothelial cells. This enhances leucocyte - endothelial cell interactions with adhesion and transmigration. LPS also induces secretion of free oxygen radicals and pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1 and TNF-$\alpha $).

Endotoxic shock is a lethal inflammatory state mediated by TNF-$\alpha $ and IL-1. Mice may be protected from endotoxic shock by IL-10.

Adrian P. Ireland