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J Immunol. 2000 Nov 15;165(10):5767-72.

Gene expressions of Toll-like receptor 2, but not Toll-like receptor 4, is induced by LPS and inflammatory cytokines in mouse macrophages.

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  • 1Laboratory of Host Defense and Germfree Life, Research Institute for Disease Mechanism and Control, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a family of mammalian homologues of Drosophila Toll and play important roles in host defense. Two of the TLRs, TLR2 and TLR4, mediate the responsiveness to LPS. Here the gene expression of TLR2 and TLR4 was analyzed in mouse macrophages. Mouse splenic macrophages responded to an intraperitoneal injection or in vitro treatment of LPS by increased gene expression of TLR2, but not TLR4. Treatment of a mouse macrophage cell line with LPS, synthetic lipid A, IL-2, IL-15, IL-1beta, IFN-gamma, or TNF-alpha significantly increased TLR2 mRNA expression, whereas TLR4 mRNA expression remained constant. TLR2 mRNA increase in response to synthetic lipid A was severely impaired in splenic macrophages isolated from TLR4-mutated C3H/HeJ mice, suggesting that TLR4 plays an essential role in the process. Specific inhibitors of mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase and p38 kinase did not significantly inhibit TLR2 mRNA up-regulation by LPS. In contrast, LPS-mediated TLR2 mRNA induction was abrogated by pretreatment with a high concentration of curcumin, suggesting that NF-kappaB activation may be essential for the process. Taken together, our results indicate that TLR2, in contrast to TLR4, can be induced in macrophages in response to bacterial infections and may accelerate the innate immunity against pathogens.

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