Host defense against Pseudomonas aeruginosa requires ceramide-rich membrane rafts Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Ceramides
  • Membrane Microdomains
  • Pseudomonas Infections
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase
  • beta-Cyclodextrins


  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection is a serious complication in patients with cystic fibrosis and in immunocompromised individuals. Here we show that P. aeruginosa infection triggers activation of the acid sphingomyelinase and the release of ceramide in sphingolipid-rich rafts. Ceramide reorganizes these rafts into larger signaling platforms that are required to internalize P. aeruginosa, induce apoptosis and regulate the cytokine response in infected cells. Failure to generate ceramide-enriched membrane platforms in infected cells results in an unabated inflammatory response, massive release of interleukin (IL)-1 and septic death of mice. Our findings show that ceramide-enriched membrane platforms are central to the host defense against this potentially lethal pathogen.

publication date

  • March 2003



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/nm823

PubMed ID

  • 12563314

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 322

end page

  • 30


  • 9


  • 3