Ruminal Lipopolysaccharides Analysis: Uncharted Waters with Promising Signs
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 November 2020
Revised: 11 January 2021
Accepted: 12 January 2021
Published: 15 January 2021
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a component of the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacterial cell wall made of three covalently linked regions: the O-antigen, the core oligosaccharide, and the endotoxin lipid A moiety, which carries the endotoxic activity of LPS. Among Gram-negative bacteria there is significant structural diversity in the lipid A region. Specifically, the number of lipid A acyl chains directly correlates with the ability to induce cytokine production whereas the hexa-acylated forms usually are the most immunostimulant ones, contrary to penta- or tetra- acylated forms that result in weak inflammatory host responses. Ruminal bacteria are predominantly Gram-negative, and their respective LPS presence has been suggested to be associated with ruminal acidosis, a metabolic disorder of cattle with negative effects on health and production. In the rumen, the most predominant phylum is Bacteroidetes which exhibit weak host immunological response compared to widely used Escherichia coli LPS. This review aims to present accumulated knowledge regarding ruminal LPS, pointing out the differences in ruminal LPS compared to widely known LPS, and introduce hypotheses that could contribute to further understanding and planning strategies to tackle ruminal acidosis.