lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from e. coli - safety? - (Mar/11/2005 )
I´m thinking about using purified LPS as a stimulating agent in a b-cell-experiment.
I tried to find some valid information on safety-precautions for handling, but get the impression that there is no real knowledge about the risks that come with it. everything on the datasheets throughout the net remains more than vague.
do you know what it is all about for real?
how do you handle the stuff?
If you're so concern with LPS (??), try another stimulus like IL-1b or TNF-a in your b-cell experiment .... assuming you're looking for similar signaling pathway and readout.
LPS is really only dangerous if you ingest or inject it. So standard lab saftey is appropriate. Since you are addidng it to cell culture simply treat it as any other agent. Remember your gut is full of bacteria so there is plenty of LPS in your body right now. LPS is mainly considered dangerous when it is a contaminant in drugs for injection-it tricks the body into thinking that it has a systemic bacterial infection which can lead to toxic shock. So don't inject it and don't eat it and you will be fine!
I do not know where you have looked online but here is an option for you. LPS is commercially available in a purified form from quite a few vendors and you can purchase it fairly cheaply. Unless you are going to need tons of the stuff or you need LPS from a very specific organism, it may be easier to buy it. I agree with the responder who mentioned standard lab practice...we use LPS sometimes to stimulate immunogenic response in our laboratory and it is like using any other chemical.
If you really need the potential dangers outlined, go to a website like Sigma's or something similar, and download the MSDS.