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J Immunol. 2003 Jul 1;171(1):32-6.

Cutting edge: link between innate and adaptive immunity: Toll-like receptor 2 internalizes antigen for presentation to CD4+ T cells and could be an efficient vaccine target.

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Institute of Immunology, University of Oslo, Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway.


An ideal vaccine for induction of CD4(+) T cell responses should induce local inflammation, maturation of APC, and peptide loading of MHC class II molecules. Ligation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 provides the first two of these three criteria. We have studied whether targeting of TLR2 results in loading of MHC class II molecules and enhancement of CD4(+) T cell responses. To dissociate MHC class II presentation from APC maturation, we have used an antagonistic, mouse anti-human TLR2 mAb (TL2.1) as ligand and measured proliferation of a mouse Ckappa-specific human CD4(+) T cell clone. TL2.1 mAb was 100-1000 times more efficiently presented by APC compared with isotype-matched control mAb. Moreover, TL2.1 mAb was internalized into endosomes and processed by the conventional MHC class II pathway. This novel function of TLR2 represents a link between innate and adaptive immunity and indicates that TLR2 could be a promising target for vaccines.

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