Regulation of lipid metabolism during infection is thought to be part of host defense, as lipoproteins neutralize endotoxin (LPS) and viruses. Gram-positive infections also induce disturbances in lipid metabolism. Therefore, we investigated whether lipoproteins could inhibit the toxic effects of lipoteichoic acid (LTA), a fragment of gram-positive bacteria. LTA activated RAW264.7 macrophage cells, stimulating production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in a dose-dependent matter, but produced less TNF than that seen after LPS activation. High density (HDL) or low density lipoprotein (LDL) alone inhibited the ability of LPS to stimulate TNF production, but had little effect on the activation by LTA. When a maximally effective dose of LTA was mixed with lipoproteins and 10% lipoprotein-depleted plasma (LPDP), the ability of LTA to stimulate macrophage production of TNF was inhibited. HDL, LDL, and the synthetic particle, Soyacal, when mixed with LPDP, were able to inhibit the ability of LTA to activate macrophages. Lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) substituted for LPDP in catalyzing lipoprotein neutralization of LTA by HDL. Antibody to LBP inhibited the ability of LPDP to induce LTA neutralization by HDL.Thus, lipoproteins can prevent macrophage activation by fragments from both gram-positive and gram-negative microorganisms.-Grunfeld, C., M. Marshall, J. K. Shigenaga, A. H. Moser, P. Tobias, and K. R. Feingold. Lipoproteins inhibit macrophage activation by lipoteichoic acid.