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Eur J Immunol. 2002 Apr;32(4):1188-95.

Non-LPS components of Chlamydia pneumoniae stimulate cytokine production through Toll-like receptor 2-dependent pathways.

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1
Department of Medicine, University Medical Center St. Radboud, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. M.Netea@aig.azn.nl

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae is associated with atherosclerosis, and that cytokines play an important role in the initiation and progression of Chlamydia-induced inflammation. When freshly isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were stimulated for 24 h with sonicated C. pneumoniae, significant amounts of the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha and IL-1beta and of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 were released into the supernatant. The addition of serum increased cytokine release induced by C. pneumonia two- to fivefold (p < 0.01). This effect was not due to complement, mannose-binding lectin (MBL) or lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP). Incubation of PBMC with either anti-Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) or anti-CD14 blocking antibodies did not influence the production of cytokines induced by Chlamydia. The induction of cytokines by C. pneumoniae in macrophages from C3H / HeJ mice, known to have a defective TLR4, was identical to that measured in control macrophages from C3H / HeN mice. In contrast, incubation of PBMC with an anti-TLR2 blocking antibody significantly inhibited the production of TNF by 67 % and of IL-1beta by 72 %. In conclusion, C. pneumoniae stimulates cytokine production in a serum-dependent manner, but independently of complement, MBL and LBP. C. pneumoniae induces the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF and IL-1beta through TLR2, but not TLR4 and CD14.

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