UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; Cells, Cultured; Cytokines; Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay; Flow Cytometry; Herpes Zoster; Herpesvirus 3, Human; Humans; Inflammation; Interleukin-6; Macrophages; Membrane Glycoproteins; Mice; Monocytes; NF-kappa B; RNA, Small Interfering; Receptors, Cell Surface; Species Specificity; Toll-Like Receptor 2; Toll-Like Receptors; Up-Regulation


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The pattern recognition receptor Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) has been implicated in the response to several human viruses, including herpes simplex viruses (types 1 and 2) and cytomegalovirus. We demonstrated that varicella-zoster virus (VZV) activates inflammatory cytokine responses via TLR2. VZV specifically induced interleukin-6 (IL-6) in human monocytes via TLR2-dependent activation of NF-kappaB, and small interfering RNA designed to suppress TLR2 mRNA reduced the IL-6 response to VZV in human monocyte-derived macrophages. Unlike other herpesviruses, the cytokine response to VZV was species specific. VZV did not induce cytokines in murine embryonic fibroblasts or in a mouse cell line, although VZV did activate NF-kappaB in a human cell line expressing a murine TLR2 construct. Together, these results suggest that TLR2 may play a role in the inflammatory response to VZV infection.

DOI of Published Version



J Virol. 2005 Oct;79(20):12658-66. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of virology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID