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Department of Medicine; Department of Pediatrics

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Antigens, CD14; Cells, Cultured; *Drosophila Proteins; Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor; Humans; Interleukin-8; Ligands; Lipopolysaccharides; Membrane Glycoproteins; Neutrophil Activation; Neutrophils; Receptors, Cell Surface; Signal Transduction; Toll-Like Receptor 2; Toll-Like Receptor 4; Toll-Like Receptors; Up-Regulation


Biological Phenomena, Cell Phenomena, and Immunity | Cell and Developmental Biology | Hematology | Microbiology | Pediatrics


In vitro studies as well as clinical trials indicate that the cytokines granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) enhance the ability of neutrophils (polymorphonuclear leukocytes) to eliminate microbial organisms. Toll-like receptor (TLR) proteins, homologs of the Drosophila protein Toll, have been found on the surface of mammalian cells and are important in the responses of macrophages to bacterial, viral, and fungal antigens. TLR4 is critical for the response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of gram-negative bacteria, while TLR2 is important for response to gram-positive bacteria, bacterial peptides, and yeast zymosan. We demonstrate that TLR2, but very little TLR4, is present on the surface of human neutrophils. In addition we demonstrate that GM-CSF and G-CSF dramatically up-regulate TLR2 and CD14 surface expression. GM-CSF treatment also up-regulates TLR2 and CD14 mRNA levels in neutrophils. In addition to increasing receptor expression, GM-CSF treatment enhanced the interleukin 8 (IL-8) secretion and superoxide priming responses of neutrophils to stimulation with TLR2 ligands, including zymosan, peptidoglycan, and lipoarabinomannan. The human monocyte response to crude bacterial LPS is composed of a TLR4-specific response to the pure LPS component and a TLR2-dependent response to associated lipopeptides. The removal of TLR2 lipopeptide components from LPS by phenol re-extraction substantially reduced both the IL-8 and superoxide response of the stimulated neutrophils, indicating that, unlike monocytes, the neutrophil response is preferentially directed to TLR2 ligands. Thus, our studies demonstrate that GM-CSF dramatically enhances the functional response of neutrophils to TLR2 ligands, including LPS-associated lipopeptides.


Blood. 2002 Sep 1;100(5):1860-8.

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