Cutting edge: different Toll-like receptor agonists instruct dendritic cells to induce distinct Th responses via differential modulation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase-mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-Fos

Sudhanshu Agrawal, Anshu Agrawal, Barbara Doughty, Andrew Gerwitz, John Blenis, Thomas Van Dyke, Bali Pulendran
Journal of Immunology 2003 November 15, 171 (10): 4984-9
Dendritic cells (DCs) are pivotal in determining the class of an adaptive immune response. However, the molecular mechanisms within DCs that determine this decision-making process are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that distinct Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands instruct human DCs to induce distinct Th cell responses by differentially modulating mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. Thus, Escherichia coli LPS and flagellin, which trigger TLR4 and TLR5, respectively, instruct DCs to stimulate Th1 responses via IL-12p70 production, which depends on the phosphorylation of p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1/2. In contrast, the TLR2 agonist, Pam3cys, and the Th2 stimulus, schistosome egg Ags: 1) barely induce IL-12p70; 2) stimulate sustained duration and magnitude of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 phosphorylation, which results in stabilization of the transcription factor c-Fos, a suppressor of IL-12; and 3) yield a Th2 bias. Thus, distinct TLR agonists differentially modulate extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling, c-Fos activity, and cytokine responses in DCs to stimulate different Th responses.

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