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Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2011 Sep;14(5):428-35.

Gene Expression Quantification of Toll like Receptors 2, 4 and Co-molecules in Human Glioblastoma Cell Line (U87-MG): Toward a New In vitro Model of Inflammation.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Payam Noor University of Mashhad, Iran ; Department of Stem cells and Developmental Biology, Royan Institute for Stem cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran.



Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) are the main part in the innate immune response. Human glioblastoma cell line (U87-MG) is an established adherent cell line model of this common cancer; due to genetic variations between individuals it is likely more suitable for investigating molecular aspects of innate immunity. Therefore, we undertook a novel characterization of the immune phenotype of U87-MG toward establishing a base for future researches.


In this study, U87-MG cells where cultured in a normal condition, to investigate levels of toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), TLR4, myeloid differentiation factor-88 (MyD88) and CD14 transcripts expression in these cells. Both RT-PCR and qPCR were applied to detect and quantify the expression levels of these genes in U87-MG cells and compare them to their levels in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of healthy individuals, as a common reference.


Expression level of TLR2 and TLR4 are not significantly different in U87-MG cells in comparison to PBMC. Also, expression levels of MyD88 and CD14 in U87-MG cells are significantly lower than their levels in PBMC. Furthermore, expression levels of MyD88 and CD14 in both PBMC and U87-MG are significantly lower than TLR2 and TLR4 transcripts.


The data reveal expression of TLR4, CD14, MyD88 and TLR2 genes in U87-MG cell line, for the first time. Expression detection of these genes in human glioblastoma cell line might have a potential for diagnosis of inflammatory mechanisms in immune mediated disorders of in vitro models of human brain inflammatory disease.


Human glioblastoma cell line (U87-MG); Innate immunity; Quantitative RT-PCR Toll-like receptors

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