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J Biol Chem. 2000 Aug 11;275(32):24255-63.

The lipopolysaccharide-activated toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 induces synthesis of the closely related receptor TLR-2 in adipocytes.

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  • 1Departments of Cell Biology and Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.


The central regulatory role of the adipocyte in whole body energy homeostasis is well established. However, recent findings suggest that preadipocytes and adipocytes may play an important physiological role in the regulation of both the innate and adaptive immune response. To systematically characterize the molecular machinery of the adipocyte that mediates the recognition of pathogens, we have focused our analysis on the recently identified Toll-like receptors (TLRs). These receptors have been implicated as mediators of the cellular response to bacterial lipopolysacharides (LPSs). Here, we report the cloning and functional characterization of mouse TLR-2 from 3T3-L1 adipocytes. TLR-2 synthesis is strongly induced in the adipocyte by LPS, TNFalpha, and the yeast cell wall extract zymosan. TLR-2 undergoes a lengthy intracellular maturation process with a half-life of exit from the ER of approximately 3 h. Furthermore, LPS treatment of adipocytes results in dramatic changes at the level of gene expression, including the synthesis of a distinct set of secretory proteins such as interleukin-6. Our studies demonstrate the presence of a fully intact pathway of innate immunity in the adipocyte that can be activated by LPS binding to the cell surface and results in the secretion of immunomodulatory molecules.

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