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Immunity. 2008 Oct 17;29(4):565-77. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2008.08.012. Epub 2008 Oct 9.

The TSC-mTOR signaling pathway regulates the innate inflammatory response.

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Department of Internal Medicine III, Clinical Division of Nephrology and Dialysis, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


The innate inflammatory immune response must be tightly controlled to avoid damage to the host. Here, we showed that the tuberous sclerosis complex-mammalian target of rapamycin (TSC-mTOR) pathway regulated inflammatory responses after bacterial stimulation in monocytes, macrophages, and primary dendritic cells. Inhibition of mTOR by rapamycin promoted production of proinflammatory cytokines via the transcription factor NF-kappaB but blocked the release of interleukin-10 via the transcription factor STAT3. Conversely, deletion of TSC2, the key negative regulator of mTOR, diminished NF-kappaB but enhanced STAT3 activity and reversed this proinflammatory cytokine shift. Rapamycin-hyperactivated monocytes displayed a strong T helper 1 (Th1) cell- and Th17 cell-polarizing potency. Inhibition of mTOR in vivo regulated the inflammatory response and protected genetically susceptible mice against lethal Listeria monocytogenes infection. These data identify the TSC2-mTOR pathway as a key regulator of innate immune homeostasis with broad clinical implications for infectious and autoimmune diseases, vaccination, cancer, and transplantation.

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