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Immunity. 2013 Jan 24;38(1):119-30. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2012.09.016. Epub 2012 Dec 13.

Recognition of profilin by Toll-like receptor 12 is critical for host resistance to Toxoplasma gondii.

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Department of Microbiology & Immunology, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Toll-like receptor 11 (TLR11) recognizes T. gondii profilin (TgPRF) and is required for interleukin-12 production and induction of immune responses that limit cyst burden in Toxoplasma gondii-infected mice. However, TLR11 only modestly affects survival of T. gondii-challenged mice. We report that TLR12, a previously uncharacterized TLR, also recognized TgPRF. TLR12 was sufficient for recognition of TgPRF by plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), whereas TLR11 and TLR12 were both required in macrophages and conventional DCs. In contrast to TLR11, TLR12-deficient mice succumb rapidly to T. gondii infection. TLR12-dependent induction of IL-12 and IFN-α in pDCs led to production of IFN-γ by NK cells. Consistent with this observation, the partial resistance of Tlr11(-/-) mice is lost upon pDC or NK cell depletion. Thus, TLR12 is critical for the innate immune response to T. gondii, and this TLR may promote host resistance by triggering pDC and NK cell function.

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