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Cell Immunol. 2002 Jul-Aug;218(1-2):74-86.

Plasmacytoid dendritic cells produce cytokines and mature in response to the TLR7 agonists, imiquimod and resiquimod.

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Department of Pharmacology, 3M Pharmaceuticals, 3M Center, 270-2S-06, St. Paul, MN 55144-1000, USA.


The immune response modifiers, imiquimod and resiquimod, are TLR7 agonists that induce type I interferon in numerous species, including humans. Recently, it was shown that plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) are the primary interferon-producing cells in the blood in response to viral infections. Here, we characterize the activation of human pDC with the TLR7 agonists imiquimod and resiquimod. Results indicate that imiquimod and resiquimod induce IFN-alpha and IFN-omega from purified pDC, and pDC are the principle IFN-producing cells in the blood. Resiquimod-stimulated pDC also produce a number of other cytokines including TNF-alpha and IP-10. Resiquimod enhances co-stimulatory marker expression, CCR7 expression, and pDC viability. Resiquimod was compared throughout the study to the pDC survival factors, IL-3 and IFN-alpha; resiquimod more effectively matures pDC than either IL-3 or IFN-alpha alone. These results demonstrate that imidazoquinoline molecules directly induce pDC maturation as determined by cytokine induction, CCR7 and co-stimulatory marker expression and prolonging viability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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