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Vet Res. 2006 Nov-Dec;37(6):791-812. Epub 2006 Sep 15.

Toll-like receptor 2 and 9 are expressed and functional in gut-associated lymphoid tissues of presuckling newborn swine.

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Laboratory of Animal Products Chemistry, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Aobaku, Sendai, 981-8555, Japan.


To clarify the crucial role of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR9 in immature gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT), we focused on the expression of TLR2 and TLR9 and the immune responses induced by their ligands in the GALT of presuckling newborn swine. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that TLR2 and TLR9 mRNA were expressed at detectable levels in all tested tissues (heart, thymus, lung, spleen, liver, kidney, skeletal muscle, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, ileal Peyer patches (Pps), and mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN)). In particular, in immature intestinal tissues and GALT, TLR2 and TLR9 mRNA were expressed at higher levels in ileal Pps and MLN than in the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. We confirmed that the TLR2 and TLR9 proteins were also highly expressed and that their ligands were preferentially recognized by TLR2- or TLR9-expressing cells in the MLN and ileal Pps. Zymosan, CpG2006, and lactic acid bacteria could promote mitogenesis and production of multiple cytokines by the MLN and ileal Pps. In addition, double immunostaining for cytokeratin 18 and either TLR2 or TLR9 revealed that both TLR2 and TLR9 are strongly expressed in the columnar membranous (M) cells. Interestingly, while the apical membrane of the columnar M cells strongly expressed TLR2 protein and preferentially recognized zymosan, both "TLR2 expression on the apical membrane" and "TLR2-mediated zymosan binding" were negligible in neighboring enterocytes. These results indicate that TLR2 and TLR9 allow MLN and ileal Pps to respond to a variety of bacterial components immediately after birth, thereby providing newborns with a host defense system.

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