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Curr Biol. 2015 Aug 31;25(17):2228-37. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.07.037. Epub 2015 Aug 13.

Toll-like Receptor Signaling Promotes Development and Function of Sensory Neurons Required for a C. elegans Pathogen-Avoidance Behavior.

Author information

1
The Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, Molecular Neurobiology Program, and Department of Cell Biology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY 10016, USA.
2
The Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, Molecular Neurobiology Program, and Department of Cell Biology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY 10016, USA. Electronic address: niels.ringstad@med.nyu.edu.

Abstract

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play critical roles in innate immunity in many animal species. The sole TLR of C. elegans--TOL-1--is required for a pathogen-avoidance behavior, yet how it promotes this behavior is unknown. We show that for pathogen avoidance TOL-1 signaling is required in the chemosensory BAG neurons, where it regulates gene expression and is necessary for their chemosensory function. Genetic studies revealed that TOL-1 acts together with many conserved components of TLR signaling. BAG neurons are activated by carbon dioxide (CO₂), and we found that this modality is required for pathogen avoidance. TLR signaling can therefore mediate host responses to microbes through an unexpected mechanism: by promoting the development and function of chemosensory neurons that surveil the metabolic activity of environmental microbes.

PMID:
26279230
PMCID:
PMC4642686
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2015.07.037
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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