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Histol Histopathol. 2006 Jul;21(7):687-96. doi: 10.14670/HH-21.687.

Toll like receptor-4 expression in lipopolysaccharide induced lung inflammation.

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Immunology Research Group, Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.


Bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) initiate immune response through Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Because many a times host is confronted with secondary bacterial challenges, it is critical to understand TLR4 expression following initial provocation. We studied TLR4 expression in rats at various times after intra-tracheal instillation of LPS. Although TLR4 mRNA was undetectable in normal lungs, it increased at 6h and 12h and declined at 36h post-LPS treatment. Western blots showed TLR4 protein at all time points. Immunohistochemistry localized TLR4 in alveolar septal cells, bronchial epithelium, macrophages and endothelium of large and peribronchial blood vessels. Dual label immunoelectron microscopy showed co-localization of TLR4 and LPS in the cytoplasm and nucleus of various lung and inflammatory cells. Nuclear localization of TLR4 was confirmed with Western blots on lung nuclear extracts. We conclude that TLR4 expression in lung is sustained up to 36 hours and that TLR4 and LPS are localized in the cytoplasm and nuclei of lung cells.

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