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J Immunol Methods. 2006 Jun 30;313(1-2):1-10. Epub 2006 Apr 25.

Human monocytoid cells as a model to study Toll-like receptor-mediated activation.

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  • 1Institute of Veterinary Virology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


THP-1 2A9, a subclone of the monocytoid cell line THP-1 and known to be exquisitely sensitive to LPS, was tested for TNF production following triggering by excess doses of TLR ligands. TLR2, TLR4 and TLR5 agonists, but neither TLR3 nor TLR9 agonists, induced TNF production. When used at lower concentrations, priming by calcitriol strongly influenced the sensitivity of cells to LPS and different TLR2 triggers (lipoteichoic acid (LTA), trispalmitoyl-cysteyl-seryl-lysyl-lysyl-lysyl-lysine (Pam3Cys) and peptidoglycan (PGN)). Priming by calcitriol failed to modulate TLR2 and TLR4 mRNA and cell surface expression of these receptors. TNF signals elicited by TLR2 agonists were blocked by the TLR-specific antibody 2392. CD14-specific antibodies showed variable effects. CD14-specific antibodies inhibited TNF induction by LTA. High concentrations partially inhibited TNF induction by Pam3Cys. The same antibodies failed to inhibit TNF induction by PGN. Thus, THP-1 2A9 cells respond by TNF production to some, but not all TLR agonists, and the wide variety of putative TLR2 agonists interact to variable degrees also with other cell-surface-expressed binding sites such as CD14. THP-1 2A9 cells might provide a model by which to investigate in more detail the interaction of pathogen-associated molecular patterns and monocytoid cell-surface-expressed pattern recognition receptors.

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