Induction of direct antimicrobial activity through mammalian toll-like receptors

S. Thoma-Uszynski, S. Stenger, O. Takeuchi, M. T. Ochoa, M. Engele, P. A. Sieling, P. F. Barnes, M. Röllinghoff, P. L. Bölcskei, M. Wagner, S. Akira, M. V. Norgard, J. T. Belisle, P. J. Godowski, B. R. Bloom, R. L. Modlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

596 Scopus citations


The mammalian innate immune system retains from Drosophila a family of homologous Toll-like receptors (TLRs) that mediate responses to microbial ligands. Here, we show that TLR2 activation leads to killing of intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis in both mouse and human macrophages, through distinct mechanisms. In mouse macrophages, bacterial lipoprotein activation of TLR2 leads to a nitric oxide-dependent killing of intracellular tubercle bacilli, but in human monocytes and alveolar macrophages, this pathway was nitric oxide-independent. Thus, mammalian TLRs respond (as Drosophila Toll receptors do) to microbial ligands and also have the ability to activate antimicrobial effector pathways at the site of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1544-1547
Number of pages4
Issue number5508
StatePublished - Feb 23 2001

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