Toll-like receptor 2-dependent and -independent activation of macrophages by group B streptococci.
Group B streptococcus (GBS), a capsulated gram-positive bacterium, is a major cause of newborn infections. Although the innate immune receptor Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 has been shown to primarily recognize gram-positive bacterial products, the production of TNF by macrophages treated with heat-killed GBS (HK-GBS) does not depend on TLR2. In this report, we have characterized HK-GBS-induced activation of macrophages derived from wildtype and TLR2-deficient mice. Microarray analysis demonstrated that HK-GBS activation of macrophages induces both TLR2-independent and -dependent signals. While the expression of a major fraction of genes in macrophages induced by HK-GBS does not depend on TLR2, induction of several important molecules involved in host innate immunity such as IL-6, IL-1beta, and lipocalin 2 is severely impaired in the absence of TLR2 signaling. Furthermore, we show that HK-GBS utilizes centrifugation sensitive components to induce rapid activation of TLR2(-/-) macrophages and that HK-GBS-induced activation of macrophages is not mediated through its genomic DNA. Together, our results demonstrate that HK-GBS induces TLR2-dependent antimicrobial gene activation and provide further understanding of the molecular basis of host innate response to GBS infection.
Draper, DW; Bethea, HN; He, Y-W
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