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J Immunol. 2006 Jan 15;176(2):1195-202.

Activation of TLR-9 induces IL-8 secretion through peroxynitrite signaling in human neutrophils.

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Research Center, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Bacterial DNA containing unmethylated CpG motifs is emerging as an important regulator of functions of human neutrophil granulocytes (polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN)). These motifs are recognized by TLR-9. Recent studies indicate that peroxynitrite (ONOO-) may function as an intracellular signal for the production of IL-8, one of the key regulators of leukocyte trafficking in inflammation. In this study we investigated whether bacterial DNA (CpG-DNA) could induce ONOO- signaling in human PMN. Human whole blood, isolated PMN (purity, >95%), and high purity (>99%) PMN respond to CpG-DNA, but not to calf thymus DNA, with secretion of IL-8 and, to a lesser extent, IL-6 and TNF. Methylation of cytosines in CpG-DNA resulted in a complete loss of activity. The endosomal acidification inhibitors, bafilomycin A and chloroquine, inhibited CpG-DNA-induced cytokine release from PMN. CpG-DNA-induced IL-8 mRNA expression and release was also blocked by the NO synthase inhibitor Nomega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester. CpG-DNA evoked concomitant increases in intracellular superoxide and NO levels, leading to enhanced ONOO- formation and, consequently, nuclear accumulation of c-Fos and NF-kappaB. Pharmacological inhibition of NF-kappaB activation attenuated approximately 75% of CpG-DNA-evoked IL-8 release. These results identify ONOO- -dependent activation of NF-kappaB and c-Fos as an important mechanism that mediates PMN responses, including IL-8 gene expression and release, to bacterial DNA and unmethylated CpG motifs in particular. Enhanced ONOO- formation represents a mechanism by which bacterial DNA may contribute to prolongation and amplification of the inflammatory response.

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