Toll-like receptors (TLR) expressed by cells of the immune system play a central role in the generation of immune responses against pathogens. Following TLR ligation, both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators are produced in order to elicit an immune response that controls the microbial infection while limiting tissue damage. Among these mediators, the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-12 and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 are known to play major roles. Here, we show that in vitro or in vivo stimulation with flagellin, the TLR5 ligand, does not result in IL-10 production. Furthermore, flagellin inhibits IL-10 production by other specific TLR ligands at the protein and mRNA levels while increasing IL-12p70 production. Several studies have linked the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases with IL-10 induction by TLR. We have observed that LPS-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation was significantly decreased in flagellin-treated macrophages, suggesting that this pathway might play a role in the inhibition of IL-10 production observed in flagellin-treated macrophages. Flagellin-mediated IL-10 inhibition was not observed in cells that do not express TLR5, supporting that this effect is indeed TLR5-dependent. This study provides a new insight into the role of flagellin recognition by TLR5 in shaping the immune response elicited by flagellated microorganisms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy