Functional effects of Toll-like receptor (TLR)3, 7, 9, RIG-I and MDA-5 stimulation in nasal epithelial cells

Lotta Tengroth, Camilla Rydberg Millrud, Anne Månsson Kvarnhammar, Susanna Kumlien Georén, Leith Latif, Lars-Olaf Cardell
PloS One 2014, 9 (6): e98239

BACKGROUND: The human nasal epithelium is an important physical barrier, and a part of the innate immune defense that protect against pathogens. The epithelial cells recognize microbial components by pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs), and thereby trigger an immune response. Even though TLR3, TLR7, TLR9, RIG-I and MDA-5 are all known to respond to viral stimulation, their potential role in chronic airway inflammation triggered by local cytokine release remains to be established.

METHODS: mRNA and corresponding protein expression of TLR3, TLR7, TLR9, RIG-I and MDA-5 were analyzed in nasal biopsies and various upper airway epithelial cell lines using real-time reverse transcription PCR, immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. Ligand induced, cytokine release, was evaluated with ELISA.

RESULTS: Nasal biopsies were found to express TLR3, TLR7, TLR9, RIG-I and MDA-5, with the most abundant expression in the surface epithelium. These receptors were verified in primary human nasal epithelial cell (HNEC) as well as in the airway epithelial cell lines Detroit-562 and FaDu. Poly(I:C) (TLR3) and R-837 (TLR7) stimulation increased secretion of IL-6 and GM-CSF from the nasal mucosa and the epithelial cell lines. CpG (TLR9) stimulation caused release of IL-8 in the nasal mucosa and in FaDu. Poly(I:C)/LyoVec (RIG-I/MDA-5) stimulation activated the secretion of IFN-β in the nasal mucosa. A corresponding release was also detected from HNEC and Detroit-562.

CONCLUSION: The nasal epithelium has the ability to recognize viral intrusion through TLR and RLR receptors, and the subsequent response might have a role in exacerbation of inflammatory diseases like allergic rhinitis and chronic rhinosinusitis.

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