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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Aug 20;399(2):274-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.07.068. Epub 2010 Jul 21.

CpG oligonucleotides induce an immune response of odontoblasts through the TLR9, MyD88 and NF-kappaB pathways.

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Department of Operative Dentistry and Endodontics, School of Stomatology, Fourth Military Medical University (FMMU), Xi'an 710032, PR China.


Odontoblasts are the first-line defense cells against invading microorganisms. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a crucial role in innate immunity, and TLR9 is involved in the recognition of microbial DNA. This study aimed to investigate whether odontoblasts can respond to CpG DNA and to determine the intracellular signaling pathways triggered by CpG DNA. We found that the mouse odontoblast-like cell line MDPC-23 constitutively expressed TLR9. Exposure to CpG ODN induced a potent proinflammatory response based on an increase of IL-6 and TNF-alpha expression. Pretreatment with an inhibitory MyD88 peptide or a specific inhibitor for TLR9, NF-kappaB or IkappaBalpha markedly inhibited CpG ODN-induced IL-6 and TNF-alpha expression. Moreover, the CpG ODN-mediated increase of kappaB-luciferase activity in MDPC-23 cells was suppressed by the overexpression of dominant negative mutants of TLR9, MyD88 and IkappaBalpha, but not by the dominant negative mutant of TLR4. This result suggests a possible role for the CpG DNA-mediated immune response in odontoblasts and indicates that TLR9, MyD88 and NF-kappaB are involved in this process.

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