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Infect Immun. 2000 Dec;68(12):6883-90.

Maturation of human dendritic cells by cell wall skeleton of Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin: involvement of toll-like receptors.

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Department of Immunology, Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, Higashinari-ku, Osaka 537-8511, Japan.


The constituents of mycobacteria are an effective immune adjuvant, as observed with complete Freund's adjuvant. In this study, we demonstrated that the cell wall skeleton of Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG-CWS), a purified noninfectious material consisting of peptidoglycan, arabinogalactan, and mycolic acids, induces maturation of human dendritic cells (DC). Surface expression of CD40, CD80, CD83, and CD86 was increased by BCG-CWS on human immature DC, and the effect was similar to those of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), heat-killed BCG, and viable BCG. BCG-CWS induced the secretion of TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IL-12 p40. CD83 expression was increased by a soluble factor secreted from BCG-CWS-treated DC and was completely inhibited by monoclonal antibodies against TNF-alpha. BCG-CWS-treated DC stimulated extensive allogeneic mixed lymphocyte reactions. The level of TNF-alpha secreted through BCG-CWS was partially suppressed in murine macrophages with no Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR 2) or TLR4 and was completely lost in TLR2 and TLR4 double-deficient macrophages. These results suggest that the BCG-CWS induces TNF-alpha secretion from DC via TLR2 and TLR4 and that the secreted TNF-alpha induces the maturation of DC per se.

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