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Immunobiology. 2006;211(6-8):557-65. Epub 2006 Jul 5.

Toll-like receptor 9 contributes to recognition of Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin by Flt3-ligand generated dendritic cells.

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Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Immunologie and Hygiene, Technische Universität München, Trogerstrasse 30, 81675 München, Germany.


Recognition of mycobacteria by the innate immune system is essential for the development of an adaptive immune response. Mycobacterial antigens stimulate antigen presenting cells (APCs) through distinct Toll-like receptors (TLRs) resulting in rapid activation of the innate immune system. The role of TLRs during infection with Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) has been evaluated for TLR2 and TLR4 only. Surprisingly, despite the fact that immune stimulatory CpG-motifs have been originally derived from BCG, for the vaccine strain the role of TLR9 has not been addressed before. To identify the set of TLRs involved in the recognition of BCG, we infected bone marrow-derived macrophages and bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (Flt3-ligand generated DCs) from TLR2, TLR3, TLR4, TLR7, TLR9, MyD88 knockout, TLR2/4 and TLR2/4/9 multiple knockout mice. The degree of activation and stimulation was determined by TNFalpha, IL-6 and IL-12p40 ELISA. Activation of DCs was measured by surface expression of the costimulatory molecule CD86. We observed the most dramatic reduction of the inflammatory response for TLR2-deficient antigen presenting cells. Both macrophages and DCs produce markedly decreased amounts of TNFalpha and IL-6 in the absence of TLR2 whereas no significant reduction could be observed for TLR3, 4, 7, 9 single TLR-knockouts. However, IL-12 production in DCs appears not exclusively dependent on TLR2 and only in TLR2/4/9-deficient DCs BCG-induced IL-12 is reduced to background levels. Similarly, up-regulation of CD86 is abolished only in TLR2/4/9-deficient DCs supporting a role of TLR9 in the recognition of M. bovis BCG by murine dendritic cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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