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TLR agonist mediated suppression of allergic responses is associated with increased innate inflammation in the airways

: Düchs, M.J.; Hahn, C.; Benediktus, E.; Werner-Klein, M.; Braun, A.; Hoymann, H.G.; Gantner, F.; Erb, K.J.


Pulmonary pharmacology & therapeutics 24 (2011), No.2, pp.203-214
ISSN: 1094-5539
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ITEM ()
TLR agonists; innate inflammation; mouse; asthma; allergy; Eosinophils; neutrophils

Toll-like receptor (TLR) mediated signaling induces pro-inflammatory responses and can both suppress and exacerbate allergic responses in the airways. The aim of our study was to directly compare the efficacy of different TLR agonists in inhibiting or exacerbating the development of Th2-mediated responses in the airways and investigate if the suppressive effects were associated with increased proinflammatory responses. Mice were immunized on day 0, 14 and 21 by intrapericoneal injection of ovalbumin/alum and exposed to ovalbumin aerosol on day 26 and 27. TLR2, TLR3, TLR4, TLR7 and TLR9 agonists (0.001, 0.01, 0.1, or 1 mg/kg) were administered intratracheally 1 h before each allergen exposure. Both the TLR7 and TLR9 agonists dose dependently reduced airway eosinophilia, while the TLR3 agonist only reduced airway eosinophilia at a dose of 1.0 mg/kg. The TLR2 and TLR4 agonists potentiated eosinophilia. All TLR agonists enhanced neutrophil numbers at doses as low as 0.01 mg/kg, in particular TLR2 and TLR4 agonists. TLR7 and TLR9 agonists also significantly reduced IL-4 and IL-5 levels and all TLR agonists, with the exception of TLR7, enhanced the amount IL-1 beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha detected in the whole lung lavage. Only application of TLR9 agonist induced detectable levels of IL-10 in the lung. Suppressive effects of the TLR agonists were not dependent upon IFN-gamma and IL-10 or associated with increased numbers of Foxp3(+)CD4(+) Tr cells in the lavage fluid. Airway resistance was reduced significantly only when TLR7 agonist was administered. When applied therapeutically 2 days after allergen exposure, all TLR agonists, except TLR2, similarly reduced airway eosinophilia and IL-4 levels. Taken together our results show that TLR7 agonists had the strongest anti-asthmatic effects with the lowest pro-inflammatory potential, suggesting that activating TLR7 may have the greatest potential to treat allergic disorders in humans.