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Blood. 2012 Mar 1;119(9):2044-55. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-10-388579. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

Distinct TLR adjuvants differentially stimulate systemic and local innate immune responses in nonhuman primates.

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Emory Vaccine Center and Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, 954 Gatewood Road, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.


TLR ligands (TLR-Ls) represent novel vaccine adjuvants, but their immunologic effects in humans remain poorly defined in vivo. In the present study, we analyzed the innate responses stimulated by different TLR-Ls in rhesus macaques. MPL (TLR4-L), R-848 (TLR7/8-L), or cytosine-phosphate-guanine oligodeoxynucleotide (TLR9-L) induced a rapid and robust expansion of blood neutrophils, with a concomitant reduction in PBMCs. Furthermore, all TLR-Ls induced rapid (3-8 hours) expansion of CD14(+) monocytes, but only TLR7/8-L and TLR9-L mobilized the CD14(+)CD16(+) and CD14(dim)CD16(++) monocytes, and only TLR7/8-L and TLR9-L induced activation of myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs), production of IP-10 and type-I IFN, and expression of type-I IFN-related and chemokine genes in the blood. In the draining lymph nodes (LNs), consistent with the effects in blood, all TLR-Ls induced expansion of CD14(+) monocytes, but only TLR7/8-L and TLR9-L expanded the activated CD14(+)CD16(+) cells. TLR4-L and TLR9-L differentially induced the expansion of mDCs and pDCs (1-3 days), but did not activate DCs. In contrast, TLR7/8-L did not induce DC expansion, but did activate mDCs. Finally, both TLR9-L and TLR7/8-L induced the expression of genes related to chemokines and type-I IFNs in LNs. Thus different TLR-Ls mediate distinct signatures of early innate responses both locally and systemically.

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