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J Immunol. 2004 Dec 1;173(11):6882-9.

TLR-independent induction of dendritic cell maturation and adaptive immunity by negative-strand RNA viruses.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.


TLR signaling leads to dendritic cell (DC) maturation and immunity to diverse pathogens. The stimulation of TLRs by conserved viral structures is the only described mechanism leading to DC maturation after a virus infection. In this report, we demonstrate that mouse myeloid DCs mature normally after in vivo and in vitro infection with Sendai virus (SeV) in the absence of TLR3, 7, 8, or 9 signaling. DC maturation by SeV requires virus replication not necessary for TLR-mediated triggering. Moreover, DCs deficient in TLR signaling efficiently prime for Th1 immunity after infection with influenza or SeV, generating IFN-gamma-producing T cells, CTLs and antiviral Abs. We have previously demonstrated that SeV induces DC maturation independently of the presence of type I IFN, which has been reported to mature DCs in a TLR-independent manner. The data presented here provide evidence for the existence of a novel intracellular pathway independent of TLR-mediated signaling responsible for live virus triggering of DC maturation and demonstrate its critical role in the onset of antiviral immunity. The revelation of this pathway should stimulate invigorating research into the mechanism for virus-induced DC maturation and immunity.

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