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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jan 22;99(2):972-7.

Stereotyped and specific gene expression programs in human innate immune responses to bacteria.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Abstract

The innate immune response is crucial for defense against microbial pathogens. To investigate the molecular choreography of this response, we carried out a systematic examination of the gene expression program in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells responding to bacteria and bacterial products. We found a remarkably stereotyped program of gene expression induced by bacterial lipopolysaccharide and diverse killed bacteria. An intricately choreographed expression program devoted to communication between cells was a prominent feature of the response. Other features suggested a molecular program for commitment of antigen-presenting cells to antigens captured in the context of bacterial infection. Despite the striking similarities, there were qualitative and quantitative differences in the responses to different bacteria. Modulation of this host-response program by bacterial virulence mechanisms was an important source of variation in the response to different bacteria.

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