Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are pattern recognition receptors linking innate and adaptive immune responses, which resulted overexpressed in primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS). Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine which was recently demonstrated to be involved in pSS pathogenesis. The study was undertaken to clarify whether TLR2 is involved in the production of IL-15 in human salivary gland epithelial cells (SGEC) from pSS patients. SGEC primary cell cultures were established from pSS minor salivary gland tissues explanted from patients with a sure diagnosis of SS. After neutralization of TLR2 with a blocking monoclonal antibody, IL-15 production was assayed by immunoblotting and flow cytometry, IL-15 in the culture supernatants was measured by ELISA, and mRNA levels were assessed by RT-PCR and real-time PCR. The production of IL-15 by pSS SGEC decreased in culture supernatants and in protein lysates (p < 0.01) when TLR2 signaling was inhibited in pSS SGEC. In addition, a control at the transcriptional level was also detected; in fact, inhibition of nuclear factor (NF)-κB through the transfection of pSS SGEC with the dominant-negative inhibitory κBα proteins (IκBα) vector (IκBαDN) abrogated the stimulatory effect of TLR2 on IL-15 production. These data suggest that TLR2 activation is involved in the induction of IL-15 production by pSS SGEC and promotes inflammation through NF-κB activation. Therefore, therapeutic strategies that target TLR2/IL-15 pathway might be strong candidates for preventing or treating pSS.
Clinical and Experimental Medicine – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 3, 2016
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