Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) mediates the response to lipopolysaccliaride, and its activation induces the expression of a large number of inflammatory genes, many of which are also induced by other pathogen-associated molecular patterns. Interestingly, the subset of genes that are dependent on TLR4 for optimal expression during gram-negative bacterial infection has not been determined. We have previously shown that TLR4-deficient mice rapidly develop acute pneumonia after inoculation with Bordetella bronchiseptica, suggesting that TLR4 is required for expression of early elicited gene products in this model. Microarray analysis with macrophages derived from wild-type and TLR4-deficient mice was used to identify genes whose expression, within 1 h of bacterial exposure, is dependent on TLR4. The results of this investigation suggest that TLR4 is not required for the majority of the transcriptional response to B. bronchiseptica. However, early tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) mRNA expression is primarily dependent on TLR4 and in vitro and in vivo protein levels substantiate this finding. TLR4-deficient mice and TNF-α-/- mice are similarly susceptible to infection with relatively low doses of B. bronchiseptica and in vivo neutralization stndies indicate that it is the TLR4-dependent early elicited TNF-α response that is critical for preventing severe pneumonia and limiting bacterial growth. These results suggest that one critical role for TLR4 is the generation of a robust but transient TNF-α response that is critical to innate host defense during acute gram-negative respiratory infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases