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Cell Immunol. 2004 Sep-Oct;231(1-2):63-74. Epub 2005 Jan 7.

Yersinia V antigen induces both TLR homo- and heterotolerance in an IL-10-involving manner.

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Max von Pettenkofer-Institut für Hygiene und Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Pettenkoferstrasse 9a, 80336 München, Germany.


The virulence antigen (LcrV) of pathogenic yersiniae "silences" macrophages against stimulation with the TLR2-agonist zymosan A in a CD14/TLR2-dependent fashion via IL-10 induction. This pathogenically important "silencing" resembles TLR tolerance phenomena; in these, pre-exposure to a primary tolerizing TLR-agonist renders macrophages unresponsive to stimulation with a secondary challenging TLR-agonist which may involve either the same (TLR homotolerance) or a different TLR (TLR heterotolerance) as the primary TLR-agonist. Here, we show that rLcrV induces TLR homo- and heterotolerance against TLR2- or TLR4-agonists both in human and murine macrophages, respectively. The underlying mechanism of LcrV-induced tolerance is most likely not due to changes in TLR2- or TLR4 expression, but involves LcrV-mediated IL-10 production, since LcrV-induced TLR homo- and heterotolerance is highly impaired in IL-10(-/-) macrophages. Moreover, the involvement of IL-10 in TLR tolerance induction seems to be a more general phenomenon as shown by experiments using different TLR-agonists in IL-10(-/-) macrophages. Since LcrV acts as a secreted protein upon macrophages without requiring direct cell contact, as shown in transwell assays, we propose that yersiniae exploit IL-10-involving TLR tolerance mechanisms by the virulence factor LcrV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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