Poly-Thymidine Oligonucleotides Mediate Activation of Murine Glial Cells Primarily Through TLR7, Not TLR8
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Poly-Thymidine Oligonucleotides Mediate Activation of Murine Glial Cells Primarily Through TLR7, Not TLR8

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    PLoS One
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    The functional role of murine TLR8 in the inflammatory response of the central nervous system (CNS) remains unclear. Murine TLR8 does not appear to respond to human TLR7/8 agonists, due to a five amino acid deletion in the ectodomain. However, recent studies have suggested that murine TLR8 may be stimulated by alternate ligands, which include vaccinia virus DNA, phosphothioate oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) or the combination of phosphothioate poly-thymidine oligonucleotides (pT-ODNs) with TLR7/8 agonists. In the current study, we analyzed the ability of pT-ODNs to induce activation of murine glial cells in the presence or absence of TLR7/8 agonists. We found that TLR7/8 agonists induced the expression of glial cell activation markers and induced the production of multiple proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in mixed glial cultures. In contrast, pT-ODNs alone induced only low level expression of two cytokines, CCL2 and CXCL10. The combination of pT-ODNs along with TLR7/8 agonists induced a synergistic response with substantially higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines compared to CL075. This enhancement was not due to cellular uptake of the agonist, indicating that the pT-ODN enhancement of cytokine responses was due to effects on an intracellular process. Interestingly, this response was also not due to synergistic stimulation of both TLR7 and TLR8, as the loss of TLR7 abolished the activation of glial cells and cytokine production. Thus, pT-ODNs act in synergy with TLR7/8 agonists to induce strong TLR7-dependent cytokine production in glial cells, suggesting that the combination of pT-ODNs with TLR7 agonists may be a useful mechanism to induce pronounced glial activation in the CNS.
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