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Blood. 2009 Jan 8;113(2):429-37. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-03-139923. Epub 2008 Oct 24.

Serum amyloid A induces G-CSF expression and neutrophilia via Toll-like receptor 2.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


The acute-phase protein serum amyloid A (SAA) is commonly considered a marker for inflammatory diseases; however, its precise role in inflammation and infection, which often result in neutrophilia, remains ambiguous. In this study, we demonstrate that SAA is a potent endogenous stimulator of granulocyte colony-stimulated factor (G-CSF), a principal cytokine-regulating granulocytosis. This effect of SAA is dependent on Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2). Our data demonstrate that, in mouse macrophages, both G-CSF mRNA and protein were significantly increased after SAA stimulation. The induction of G-CSF was blocked by an anti-TLR2 antibody and markedly decreased in the TLR2-deficient macrophages. SAA stimulation results in the activation of nuclear factor-kappaB and binding activity to the CK-1 element of the G-CSF promoter region. In vitro reconstitution experiments also support that TLR2 mediates SAA-induced G-CSF expression. In addition, SAA-induced secretion of G-CSF was sensitive to heat and proteinase K treatment, yet insensitive to polymyxin B treatment, indicating that the induction is a direct effect of SAA. Finally, our in vivo studies confirmed that SAA treatment results in a significant increase in plasma G-CSF and neutrophilia, whereas these responses are ablated in G-CSF- or TLR2-deficient mice.

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