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Eur J Immunol. 2004 Jul;34(7):2052-9.

NOD2 mediates anti-inflammatory signals induced by TLR2 ligands: implications for Crohn's disease.

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Department of Medicine, University Medical Center St Radboud, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Mutations of the NOD2 gene have been associated with an increased susceptibility to Crohn's disease, but the pathogenetic mechanisms mediated by NOD2 remain elusive. In the present study, we demonstrate that the 3020insC frameshift-mutation in the NOD2 gene associated with Crohn's disease results in defective release of IL-10 from blood mononuclear cells after stimulation with the Toll-like receptor (TLR)2 ligands, peptidoglycan and Pam3Cys-KKKK, but not with bacterial LPS, a TLR4 ligand. The potential pathophysiological significance of this finding in patients with Crohn's disease and who are homozygous for this NOD2 mutation was substantiated by the finding of decreased anti-inflammatory cytokine release when cells from these patients were stimulated with different species of Bacteroides, an enteric microorganism implicated in the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease. In conclusion, defective NOD2 function results in a pro-inflammatory cytokine bias after stimulation of mononuclear cells with TLR2 stimuli, and this could contribute to the overwhelming inflammation seen in Crohn's disease.

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