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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Oct 21;111(42):E4478-84. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1410293111. Epub 2014 Oct 6.

Human TLR10 is an anti-inflammatory pattern-recognition receptor.

Author information

Department of Internal Medicine.
Department of Immune Therapeutics, Merck Research Laboratories, Oss 5342 CC, The Netherlands.
Department of Human Genetics.
Department of Microbiology, and.
Department of Tumour Immunology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen 6525 GA, The Netherlands; and.
Department of Internal Medicine,


Toll-like receptor (TLR)10 is the only pattern-recognition receptor without known ligand specificity and biological function. We demonstrate that TLR10 is a modulatory receptor with mainly inhibitory effects. Blocking TLR10 by antagonistic antibodies enhanced proinflammatory cytokine production, including IL-1β, specifically after exposure to TLR2 ligands. Blocking TLR10 after stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells with pam3CSK4 (Pam3Cys) led to production of 2,065 ± 106 pg/mL IL-1β (mean ± SEM) in comparison with 1,043 ± 51 pg/mL IL-1β after addition of nonspecific IgG antibodies. Several mechanisms mediate the modulatory effects of TLR10: on the one hand, cotransfection in human cell lines showed that TLR10 acts as an inhibitory receptor when forming heterodimers with TLR2; on the other hand, cross-linking experiments showed specific induction of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra, 16 ± 1.7 ng/mL, mean ± SEM). After cross-linking anti-TLR10 antibody, no production of IL-1β and other proinflammatory cytokines could be found. Furthermore, individuals bearing TLR10 polymorphisms displayed an increased capacity to produce IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6 upon ligation of TLR2, in a gene-dose-dependent manner. The modulatory effects of TLR10 are complex, involving at least several mechanisms: there is competition for ligands or for the formation of heterodimer receptors with TLR2, as well as PI3K/Akt-mediated induction of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-1Ra. Finally, transgenic mice expressing human TLR10 produced fewer cytokines when challenged with a TLR2 agonist. In conclusion, to our knowledge we demonstrate for the first time that TLR10 is a modulatory pattern-recognition receptor with mainly inhibitory properties.


SNPs; TLR10; cytokines; immunology

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