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J Mol Biol. 2006 Dec 15;364(5):945-54. Epub 2006 Sep 27.

Signaling through toll-like receptor 7/8 induces the differentiation of human bone marrow CD34+ progenitor cells along the myeloid lineage.

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Department of Immunology, Radiumhospitalet University Hospital, Oslo ,Montebello N-0310 ,Norway.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a key role in pathogen recognition and regulation of the innate and adaptive immune responses. Although TLR expression and signaling have been investigated in blood cells, it is currently unknown whether their bone marrow ancestors express TLRs and respond to their ligands. Here we found that TLRs (e.g. TLR4, TLR7 and TLR8) were expressed by freshly isolated human bone marrow (BM) hematopoietic CD34+ progenitor cells. Incubation of these primitive cells with TLR ligands such as immunostimulatory small interfering RNAs and R848, a specific ligand for TLR7/8, induced cytokine production (e.g. IL1-beta, IL6, IL8, TNF-alpha, GM-CSF). Moreover, TLR7/8 signaling induced the differentiation of BM CD34+ progenitors into cells with the morphology of macrophages and monocytic dendritic precursors characterized by the expression of CD13, CD14 and/or CD11c markers. By contrast, R848 ligand did not induce the expression of glycophorin A, an early marker for erythropoiesis. Collectively, the data indicate for the first time that human BM CD34+ progenitor cells constitutively express functional TLR7/TLR8, whose ligation can induce leukopoiesis without the addition of any exogenous cytokines. Thus, TLR signaling may regulate BM cell development in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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