Roles of TLR2, TLR4, NOD2, and NOD1 in pulp fibroblasts

K Hirao, H Yumoto, K Takahashi, K Mukai, T Nakanishi, T Matsuo
Journal of Dental Research 2009, 88 (8): 762-7
Pulp fibroblasts express various pro-inflammatory mediators leading to marked infiltration of inflammatory cells in the progression of pulpitis. We hypothesized that pulp fibroblasts play roles in the recognition of invaded caries-related bacteria and the subsequent innate immune responses. We found clear expressions of TLR2, NOD1, and NOD2 and a faint expression of TLR4 in human dental pulp fibroblasts (HDPF) by RT-PCR and flow cytometry. We also observed that various pro-inflammatory mediators, including cytokines, chemokines, adhesion molecules, prostaglandin E(2) and its key enzyme COX-2, not iNOS or caspase-1, were markedly up-regulated by stimulation with these TLR and NOD agonists. More over, the NOD2 agonist acted synergistically with the TLR2, not the TLR4, agonist to stimulate the production of pro-inflammatory mediators in HDPF. These findings indicate that TLR2, TLR4, NOD2, and NOD1 in HDPF are functional receptors, and NOD2 is a modulator of signals transmitted through TLR2 in pulpal immune responses, leading to progressive pulpitis.

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