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Immunology. 2004 Feb;111(2):179-85.

Limited role of the Toll-like receptor-2 in resistance to Mycobacterium avium.

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Laboratory of Microbiology and Immunology of Infection, Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.


The role of the Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2 in the generation of protective immunity to Mycobacterium avium was evaluated using gene-disrupted mice. TLR-2-/- mice were more susceptible than wild-type C57Bl/6 mice to M. avium strains that were able to proliferate in vivo before the development of protective immunity and mycobacteriostasis. In contrast, the elimination of non-virulent strains was not affected by the mutation. The generation of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-producing T cells and the expression of the interleukin-12 p40 gene were reduced in TLR-2-deficient mice as compared to C57Bl/6 mice early during infection with M. avium strain 2447. The generation of protective CD4+ T cells was also compromised in the mutated mice as compared with the controls. Our data show that TLR-2 is required for optimal immunity against certain virulent M. avium strains.

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