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J Neuroimmunol. 2006 Dec;181(1-2):46-56. Epub 2006 Sep 29.

Expression and distribution of Toll-like receptors in the brain during murine neurocysticercosis.

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Department of Biology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle--San Antonio, TX 78249-1644, USA.


In a mouse model of neurocysticercosis, the expression and distribution of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) was investigated by using both gene array analyses and in situ immunofluorescence microscopy (IF). In the normal uninfected brain, mRNA of all the TLRs are constitutively expressed albeit TLR5, TLR7, TLR8 and TLR9 to a lesser extent. In these animals, however, expression of TLR1, TLR3, TLR4 and TLR9 proteins was not detected. In contrast, parasite infection increased both gene and protein level expression of all the TLRs several fold except TLR5 where only the mRNA was upregulated. Importantly, TLRs were differentially distributed among various central nervous system (CNS) cell types and infiltrating leukocytes. TLR2 was almost exclusively localized to nervous tissue cells, particularly astrocytes, while TLR1 and TLR9 proteins were essentially limited to infiltrating leukocytes. All other TLRs tested were detected in both CNS and immune cell types. Interestingly, ependymal cells and neurofilaments of the cerebellar white matter of infected mice exhibited a substantial upregulation of TLR7 and TLR8 proteins respectively. These data provide a comprehensive analysis of TLR expression in the normal and parasite infected brain and suggest a role for TLRs in the interplay of immune cells and CNS cells during infection.

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