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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jan 28;111(4):1497-502. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1314121111. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

TLR8 on dendritic cells and TLR9 on B cells restrain TLR7-mediated spontaneous autoimmunity in C57BL/6 mice.

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Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, Aix-Marseille University UM 2, 13288 Marseille, France.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease with diverse clinical presentations characterized by the presence of autoantibodies to nuclear components. Toll-like receptor (TLR)7, TLR8, and TLR9 sense microbial or endogenous nucleic acids and are implicated in the development of SLE. In mice TLR7-deficiency ameliorates SLE, but TLR8- or TLR9-deficiency exacerbates the disease because of increased TLR7 response. Thus, both TLR8 and TLR9 control TLR7 function, but whether TLR8 and TLR9 act in parallel or in series in the same or different cell types in controlling TLR7-mediated lupus remains unknown. Here, we reveal that double TLR8/9-deficient (TLR8/9(-/-)) mice on the C57BL/6 background showed increased abnormalities characteristic of SLE, including splenomegaly, autoantibody production, frequencies of marginal zone and B1 B cells, and renal pathology compared with single TLR8(-/-) or TLR9(-/-) mice. On the cellular level, TLR8(-/-) and TLR8/9(-/-) dendritic cells were hyperesponsive to TLR7 ligand R848, but TLR9(-/-) cells responded normally. Moreover, B cells from TLR9(-/-) and TLR8/9(-/-) mice were hyperesponsive to R848, but TLR8(-/-) B cells were not. These results reveal that TLR8 and TLR9 have an additive effect on controlling TLR7 function and TLR7-mediated lupus; however, they act on different cell types. TLR8 controls TLR7 function on dendritic cells, and TLR9 restrains TLR7 response on B cells.


endosomal TLRs; innate immunity; knockout mice

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