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Immunity. 2006 Jun;24(6):801-12.

Toll-like receptors on hematopoietic progenitor cells stimulate innate immune system replenishment.

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Immunobiology and Cancer Research Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104, USA.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are best known for their ability to recognize microbial or viral components and initiate innate immune responses. We showed here that TLRs and their coreceptors were expressed by multipotential hematopoietic stem cells, whose cell cycle entry was triggered by TLR ligation. TLR expression also extended to some of the early hematopoietic progenitors, although not the progenitor cells dedicated to megakaryocyte and erythroid differentiation. TLR signaling via the Myd88 adaptor protein drove differentiation of myeloid progenitors, bypassing some normal growth and differentiation requirements, and also drove lymphoid progenitors to become dendritic cells. CD14 contributed to the efficiency of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) recognition by stem and progenitor cells, and LPS interacted directly with the TLR4/MD-2 complex on these cells in bone marrow. Thus, the preferential pathogen-mediated stimulation of myeloid differentiation pathways may provide a means for rapid replenishment of the innate immune system during infection.

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