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J Immunol. 2003 Aug 1;171(3):1156-63.

The immune response modifier and Toll-like receptor 7 agonist S-27609 selectively induces IL-12 and TNF-alpha production in CD11c+CD11b+CD8- dendritic cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, 3 M Pharmaceuticals, St Paul, MN 55144, USA.


IL-12 and TNF-alpha production by dendritic cells (DCs) is a critical step in the initiation of local inflammation and adaptive immune responses. We show in this study that a small molecule immune response modifier that is a Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonist induces IL-12 and TNF-alpha production from murine CD11c(+)CD11b(+)CD8(-) DCs, a subset not previously known for this activity. Stimulation of these DCs through TLR7 in vivo induces significant cytokine production even 12 h after initial stimulation, as well as migration of the DC into T cell zones of the lymphoid tissue. In contrast, stimulation through TLR4 and TLR9 induced IL-12 production predominantly from CD8(+) DCs, consistent with previously published data. All TLR stimuli induced the increase in surface expression of the activation markers B7-1, B7-2, and class II in both CD8(+) and CD8(-) DCs, demonstrating that CD8(+) DCs do respond to TLR7-mediated stimuli. To date this is the only known stimuli to induce preferential cytokine production from CD8(-) DCs. Given the efficacy of TLR7 agonists as antiviral agents, the data collectively indicate that stimulation of CD8(-) DCs through TLR7 most likely plays a role in the generation of antiviral immune responses.

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