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Eur J Immunol. 2013 Sep;43(9):2373-85. doi: 10.1002/eji.201243208. Epub 2013 Jun 21.

Toll-like receptor 6 senses Mycobacterium avium and is required for efficient control of mycobacterial infection.

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Departamento de Bioquimica e Imunologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.


Mycobacterium avium has been reported to signal through both Toll-like receptor (TLR2) and TLR9. To investigate the role of TLR6 in innate immune responses to M. avium, TLR6, MyD88, TLR2, and TLR2/6 KO mice were infected with this pathogen. Bacterial burdens were higher in the lungs and livers of infected TLR6, TLR2, TLR2/6, and MyD88 KO mice compared with those in C57BL/6 mice, which indicates that TLR6 is required for the efficient control of M. avium infection. However, TLR6 KO spleen cells presented with normal M. avium induced IFN-γ responses as measured by ELISA and flow cytometry. In contrast, the production of IFN-γ in lung tissue was diminished in all studied KO mice. Furthermore, only MyD88 deficiency reduced granuloma areas in mouse livers. Moreover, we determined that TLR6 plays an important role in controlling bacterial growth within macrophages and in the production of TNF-α, IL-12, and IL-6 by M. avium infected DCs. Finally, the lack of TLR6 reduced activation of MAPKs and NF-κB in DCs. In summary, TLR6 is required for full resistance to M. avium and for the activation of DCs to produce proinflammatory cytokines.


Cell signaling; DCs; Macrophages; Mycobacterium avium; TLR6

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