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Int Immunol. 2013 Feb;25(2):117-28. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxs096. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

Inhibition of antibody production in vivo by pre-stimulation of Toll-like receptor 4 before antigen priming is caused by defective B-cell priming and not impairment in antigen presentation.

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Division of Immunology, Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Saga University Faculty of Medicine, 5-1-1 Nabeshima, Saga 849-8501, Japan.


Stimulation of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) induces not only innate but also adaptive immune responses, and has been suggested to exert adjuvant effects. Additional to such positive effects, pre-stimulation of TLR4 induces endotoxin tolerance where animals are unresponsive to subsequent lethal challenges with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We examined the effects of pre-stimulation of TLR4 using an agonistic anti-TLR4 mAb (UT12) on antibody production in vivo. Pre-injection of UT12 prior to both primary and secondary immunization completely inhibited antigen-specific antibody responses. Cellular analysis revealed that the inhibition was not due to impairment of T-cell activation. Accordingly, T-helper activities in UT12 pre-injected mice were not impaired. In contrast, B-cell priming was defective in UT12 pre-injected mice. The observation that the expression of activation markers such as CD69 and CD86 on B cells was blocked by UT12 pre-injection supports this. Interestingly, UT12 pre-injection only showed inhibitory effects at the primary and not the secondary immunization. These results provide important information concerning the regulatory mechanisms of antibody production, especially in endotoxin-tolerant states.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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