Abstract
TLR4 signalling in the intestine in health and disease. M Fukata;M T Abreu. 2007. Biochem Soc Trans. 35. PMID: 18031248

The colonic epithelium is lined along its apical membrane with approximately 10(14) bacteria/g of tissue. Commensal bacteria outnumber mammalian cells in the gut severalfold. The reason for this degree of commensalism probably resides in the recent recognition of the microbiome as an important source of metabolic energy in the setting of poorly digestible nutrients. As in many themes in biology, the host may have sacrificed short-term benefit, i.e. nutritional advantages, for long-term consequences, such as chronic inflammation or colon cancer. In the present review, we examine the role of TLR (Toll-like receptor) signalling in the healthy host and the diseased host. We pay particular attention to the role of TLR signalling in idiopathic IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and colitis-associated carcinogenesis. In general, TLR signalling in health contributes to homoeostatic functions. These include induction of antimicrobial peptides, proliferation and wound healing in the intestine. The pathogenesis of IBD, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease may be due to increased TLR or decreased TLR signalling respectively. Finally, we discuss the possible role of TLR signalling in colitis-associated neoplasia.
The myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) is required for CD4+ T cell effector function in a murine model of inflammatory bowel disease. Masayuki Fukata;Keith Breglio;Anli Chen;Arunan S Vamadevan;Tyralee Goo;David Hsu;Daisy Conduah;Ruliang Xu;Maria T Abreu. 2008. J Immunol. 180. PMID: 18209086

Abnormal T cell responses to commensal bacteria are involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. MyD88 is an essential signal transducer for TLRs in response to the microflora. We hypothesized that TLR signaling via MyD88 was important for effector T cell responses in the intestine. TLR expression on murine T cells was examined by flow cytometry. CD4(+)CD45Rb(high) T cells and/or CD4(+)CD45Rb(low)CD25(+) regulatory T cells were isolated and adoptively transferred to RAG1(-/-) mice. Colitis was assessed by changes in body weight and histology score. Cytokine production was assessed by ELISA. In vitro proliferation of T cells was assessed by [(3)H]thymidine assay. In vivo proliferation of T cells was assessed by BrdU and CFSE labeling. CD4(+)CD45Rb(high) T cells expressed TLR2, TLR4, TLR9, and TLR3, and TLR ligands could act as costimulatory molecules. MyD88(-/-) CD4(+) T cells showed decreased proliferation compared with WT CD4(+) T cells both in vivo and in vitro. CD4(+)CD45Rb(high) T cells from MyD88(-/-) mice did not induce wasting disease when transferred into RAG1(-/-) recipients. Lamina propria CD4(+) T cell expression of IL-2 and IL-17 and colonic expression of IL-6 and IL-23 were significantly lower in mice receiving MyD88(-/-) cells than mice receiving WT cells. In vitro, MyD88(-/-) T cells were blunted in their ability to secrete IL-17 but not IFN-gamma. Absence of MyD88 in CD4(+)CD45Rb(high) cells results in defective T cell function, especially Th17 differentiation. These results suggest a role for TLR signaling by T cells in the development of inflammatory bowel disease.
TLR signaling-induced CD103-expressing cells protect against intestinal inflammation. Alexandra Wittmann;Peter A Bron;Iris I van Swam;Michiel Kleerebezem;Patrick Adam;Kerstin Gronbach;Sarah Menz;Isabell Flade;Annika Bender;Andrea Schäfer;Ali Giray Korkmaz;Raphael Parusel;Ingo B Autenrieth;Julia-Stefanie Frick. 2015. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 21. PMID: 25647153

BACKGROUND: Toll-like receptor (TLR) expression in patients with inflammatory bowel disease is increased when compared with healthy controls. However, the impact of TLR signaling during inflammatory bowel disease is not fully understood. METHODS: In this study, we used a murine model of acute phase inflammation in bone marrow chimeric mice to investigate in which cell type TLR2/4 signal induction is important in preventing intestinal inflammation and how intestinal dendritic cells are influenced. Mice were either fed with wild-type bacteria, able to initiate the TLR2/4 signaling cascade, or with mutant strains with impaired signal induction capacity. RESULTS: The induction of the TLR2/4 signal cascade in epithelial cells resulted in inflammation in bone marrow chimeric mice, whereas induction in hematopoietic cells had an opposed function. Furthermore, feeding of wild-type bacteria prevented disease; however, differing signal induction of bacteria had no effect on lamina propria dendritic cell activation. In contrast, functional TLR2/4 signals resulted in increased frequencies of CD103-expressing lamina propria and mesenteric lymph node dendritic cells, which were able to ameliorate disease. CONCLUSIONS: The TLR-mediated amelioration of disease, the increase in CD103-expressing cells, and the beneficial function of TLR signal induction in hematopoietic cells indicate that the increased expression of TLRs in patients with inflammatory bowel disease might result in counterregulation of the host and serve in preventing disease.
Microbial induction of inflammatory bowel disease associated gene TL1A (TNFSF15) in antigen presenting cells. David Q Shih;Lola Y Kwan;Valerie Chavez;Offer Cohavy;Rivkah Gonsky;Elmer Y Chang;Christopher Chang;Charles O Elson;Stephan R Targan. 2009. Eur J Immunol. 39. PMID: 19839006

TL1A is a member of the TNF superfamily and its expression is increased in the mucosa of inflammatory bowel disease patients. Neutralizing anti-mouse TL1A Ab attenuates chronic colitis in two T-cell driven murine models, suggesting that TL1A is a central modulator of gut mucosal inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease. We showed previously that TL1A is induced by immune complexes via the Fc gamma R signaling pathway. In this study, we report that multiple bacteria, including gram negative organisms (E. coli, E. coli Nissle 1917, Salmonella typhimurium), gram positive organisms (Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus epidermidis), partial anaerobes (Campylobacter jejuni), and obligate anaerobes (Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Bifidobacterium breve, Clostridium A4) activate TL1A expression in human APC, including monocytes and monocyte-derived DC. Bacterially induced TL1A mRNA expression correlates with the detection of TL1A protein levels. TL1A induced by bacteria is mediated in part by the TLR signaling pathway and inhibited by downstream blockade of p38 MAPK and NF-kappaB activation. Microbial induction of TL1A production by human APC potentiated CD4(+) T-cell effector function by augmenting IFN-gamma production. Our findings suggest a role for TL1A in pro-inflammatory APC-T cell interactions and implicate TL1A in host responses to enteric microorganisms.
Pathogenic and protective roles of MyD88 in leukocytes and epithelial cells in mouse models of inflammatory bowel disease. Mark J Asquith;Olivier Boulard;Fiona Powrie;Kevin J Maloy. 2010. Gastroenterology. 139. PMID: 20433840

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Toll-like receptors (TLR) are innate immune receptors involved in recognition of the intestinal microflora; they are expressed by numerous cell types in the intestine, including epithelial cells, myeloid cells, and lymphocytes. Little is known about the relative contributions of TLR signaling in distinct cellular compartments to intestinal homeostasis. We aimed to define the roles of TLR signals in distinct cell types in the induction and regulation of chronic intestinal inflammation. METHODS: We assessed the roles of the shared TLR signaling adaptor protein, MyD88, in several complementary mouse models of inflammatory bowel disease, mediated by either innate or adaptive immune activation. MyD88-deficient mice and bone marrow chimeras were used to disrupt TLR signals selectively in distinct cellular compartments in the intestine. RESULTS: MyD88-dependent activation of myeloid cells was required for the development of chronic intestinal inflammation. By contrast, although epithelial cell MyD88 signals were required for host survival, they were insufficient to induce intestinal inflammation in the absence of an MyD88-competent myeloid compartment. MyD88 expression by T cells was not required for their pathogenic and regulatory functions in the intestine. CONCLUSIONS: Cellular compartmentalization of MyD88 signals in the intestine allow the maintenance of host defense and prevent deleterious inflammatory responses.
Toll-like receptor activation by helminths or helminth products to alleviate inflammatory bowel disease. ShuMin Sun;XueLin Wang;XiuPing Wu;Ying Zhao;Feng Wang;XiaoLei Liu;Yanxia Song;ZhiLiang Wu;MingYuan Liu. 2011. Parasit Vectors. 4. PMID: 21943110

Helminth infection may modulate the expression of Toll like receptors (TLR) in dendritic cells (DCs) and modify the responsiveness of DCs to TLR ligands. This may regulate aberrant intestinal inflammation in humans with helminthes and may thus help alleviate inflammation associated with human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Epidemiological and experimental data provide further evidence that reducing helminth infections increases the incidence rate of such autoimmune diseases. Fine control of inflammation in the TLR pathway is highly desirable for effective host defense. Thus, the use of antagonists of TLR-signaling and agonists of their negative regulators from helminths or helminth products should be considered for the treatment of IBD.
Toll-like receptors as therapeutic targets for autoimmune connective tissue diseases. Jing Li;Xiaohui Wang;Fengchun Zhang;Hang Yin. 2013. Pharmacol Ther. 138. PMID: 23531543

Autoimmune connective tissue diseases (ACTDs) are a family of consistent systemic autoimmune inflammatory disorders, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic sclerosis (SSc) and Sjögren's syndrome (SS). IL-1R-like receptors (TLRs) are located on various cellular membranes and sense exogenous and endogenous danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), playing a critical role in innate immune responses. During the past decade, the investigation of TLRs in inflammatory autoimmune diseases has been fruitful. In this report, we review the significant biochemical, physiological and pathological studies of the key functions of TLRs in ACTDs. Several proteins in the TLR signaling pathways (e.g., IKK-2 and MyD88) have been identified as potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of ACTDs. Antibodies, oligodeoxyribonucleotides (ODNs) and small molecular inhibitors (SMIs) have been tested to modulate TLR signaling. Some drug-like SMIs of TLR signaling, such as RDP58, ST2825, ML120B and PHA-408, have demonstrated remarkable potential, with promising safety and efficacy profiles, which should warrant further clinical investigation. Nonetheless, one should bear in mind that all TLRs exert both protective and pathogenic functions; the function of TLR4 in inflammatory bowel disease represents such an example. Therefore, an important aspect of TLR modulator development involves the identification of a balance between the suppression of disease-inducing inflammation, while retaining the beneficiary host immune response.
Proinflammatory TLR signalling is regulated by a TRAF2-dependent proteolysis mechanism in macrophages. Jin Jin;Yichuan Xiao;Hongbo Hu;Qiang Zou;Yanchuan Li;Yanpan Gao;Wei Ge;Xuhong Cheng;Shao-Cong Sun. 2015. Nat Commun. 6. PMID: 25565375

Signal transduction from toll-like receptors (TLRs) is important for innate immunity against infections, but deregulated TLR signalling contributes to inflammatory disorders. Here we show that myeloid cell-specific ablation of TRAF2 greatly promotes TLR-stimulated proinflammatory cytokine expression in macrophages and exacerbates colitis in an animal model of inflammatory bowel disease. TRAF2 deficiency does not enhance upstream signalling events, but it causes accumulation of two transcription factors, c-Rel and IRF5, known to mediate proinflammatory cytokine induction. Interestingly, TRAF2 controls the fate of c-Rel and IRF5 via a proteasome-dependent mechanism that also requires TRAF3 and the E3 ubiquitin ligase cIAP. We further show that TRAF2 also regulates inflammatory cytokine production in tumour-associated macrophages and facilitates tumour growth. These findings demonstrate an unexpected anti-inflammatory function of TRAF2 and suggest a proteasome-dependent mechanism that limits the proinflammatory TLR signalling.
[Significance of Toll-like receptors in the pathophysiology of surgical sepsis]. László Romics;John Calvin Coffey;Jiang Huai Wang;Henry Paul Redmond;Gyöngyi Szabó. 2004. Magy Seb. 57. PMID: 15570917

The discovery of Toll-like receptors has substantially changed our knowledge of pathogen recognition. 11 Toll-like receptors have so far been described in humans. These recognize distinct pathogen associated molecular patterns, as well as endogenous ligands and small molecular synthetic compounds. TLRs have a multifunctional role in pathogen-triggered immune responses and represent an important connection between the "innate" and "adaptive" immunity. The role of the TLRs in the recognition of pathogens renders them a key figure in the activation of the immune response during surgical sepsis. However, emerging evidence points to a fundamental role in tumorigenesis, transplantation, wound healing, atherogenesis and inflammatory bowel disease. The aim hence was to review experimental data pertaining to the activation of TLR signalling pathways in conditions associated with surgical sepsis. A systematic review of the literature was undertaken by searching the MEDLINE database for the period 1966-2004 without language restriction. The paper also analyses the possible therapeutic utilization of the TLR signalling pathways in surgical sepsis.
TLR signaling in the gut in health and disease. Maria T Abreu;Masayuki Fukata;Moshe Arditi. 2005. J Immunol. 174. PMID: 15814663

The human intestine has evolved in the presence of diverse enteric microflora. TLRs convert the recognition of pathogen-associated molecules in the gut into signals for anti-microbial peptide expression, barrier fortification, and proliferation of epithelial cells. Healing of injured intestinal epithelium and clearance of intramucosal bacteria require the presence of intact TLR signaling. Nucleotide oligomerization domain (Nod)1 and Nod2 are additional pattern recognition receptors that are required for defense against invasive enteric pathogens. Through spatial and functional localization of TLR and Nod molecules, the normal gut maintains a state of controlled inflammation. By contrast, patients with inflammatory bowel disease demonstrate inflammation in response to the normal flora. A subset of these patients carry polymorphisms in TLR and CARD15/NOD2 genes. A better understanding of the delicate regulation of TLR and Nod molecules in the gut may lead to improved treatment for enteric infections and idiopathic inflammatory bowel diseases.
Role of toll-like receptors in spontaneous commensal-dependent colitis. Seth Rakoff-Nahoum;Liming Hao;Ruslan Medzhitov. 2006. Immunity. 25. PMID: 16879997

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is thought to result from a dysregulated interaction between the host immune system and its commensal microflora. Heterogeneity of disease susceptibility in humans and rodents suggest that multiple mechanisms are responsible for the etiology of IBD. In particular, deficiencies in anti-inflammatory and immune-suppressive mechanisms play an important role in the development of IBD. However, it is unknown how the indigenous microflora stimulates the immune system and how this response is regulated. To address these questions, we investigated the role of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling in the development of spontaneous, commensal-dependent colitis in interleukin (IL)-2- and IL-10-deficient mice. We report that colitis was dependent on TLR signaling in Il10(-/-) mice. In contrast, Il2(-/-) mice developed intestinal inflammation in the absence of TLR signaling pathways. These results demonstrate a differential role of innate immune recognition by TLRs in the development of commensal-dependent colitis.
Host-microbiota interaction and intestinal stem cells in chronic inflammation and colorectal cancer. Shirin Moossavi;Hongyu Zhang;Jun Sun;Nima Rezaei. 2013. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 9. PMID: 23634736

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC) are the major diseases of the lower gastrointestinal tract. The intestinal epithelium plays a critical role in the host's interactions with the large communities of resident luminal bacteria. Epithelial cells recognize the bacterial components via pattern-recognition receptors. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a major class of pattern-recognition receptors that are present on intestinal epithelial cells, including putative stem cells. Stem cells are responsible for tissue homeostasis and regeneration after injury including IBD. Stem cells are also implicated in the pathogenesis of CRC. In susceptible individuals, disruption of normal homeostatic balance between the host's mucosal cells and enteric microflora is believed to result in aberrant immune responses against the resident commensal bacteria, leading to IBD. Microbiological analyses have revealed that the composition and localization of microbiota is altered in CRC and IBD. It is plausible that stem cells directly sense and respond to microbiota. This review aims to summarize the current knowledge on the effect of microbiota and TLR signaling on intestinal stem cells. It also describes how TLR signaling could affect the stem cell regulatory pathways.
Regulation of Intestinal Immune Responses through TLR Activation: Implications for Pro- and Prebiotics. Sander de Kivit;Mary C Tobin;Christopher B Forsyth;Ali Keshavarzian;Alan L Landay. 2014. Front Immunol. 5. PMID: 24600450

The intestinal mucosa is constantly facing a high load of antigens including bacterial antigens derived from the microbiota and food. Despite this, the immune cells present in the gastrointestinal tract do not initiate a pro-inflammatory immune response. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are pattern recognition receptors expressed by various cells in the gastrointestinal tract, including intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) and resident immune cells in the lamina propria. Many diseases, including chronic intestinal inflammation (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), allergic gastroenteritis (e.g., eosinophilic gastroenteritis and allergic IBS), and infections are nowadays associated with a deregulated microbiota. The microbiota may directly interact with TLR. In addition, differences in intestinal TLR expression in health and disease may suggest that TLRs play an essential role in disease pathogenesis and may be novel targets for therapy. TLR signaling in the gut is involved in either maintaining intestinal homeostasis or the induction of an inflammatory response. This mini review provides an overview of the current knowledge regarding the contribution of intestinal epithelial TLR signaling in both tolerance induction or promoting intestinal inflammation, with a focus on food allergy. We will also highlight a potential role of the microbiota in regulating gut immune responses, especially through TLR activation.
Contribution of TLR signaling to the pathogenesis of colitis-associated cancer in inflammatory bowel disease. Ferenc Sipos;István Fűri;Miklós Constantinovits;Zsolt Tulassay;Györgyi Műzes. 2014. World J Gastroenterol. 20. PMID: 25278673

In the intestine a balance between proinflammatory and repair signals of the immune system is essential for the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis. The innate immunity ensures a primary host response to microbial invasion, which induces an inflammatory process to localize the infection and prevent systemic dissemination of pathogens. The key elements of this process are the germline encoded pattern recognition receptors including Toll-like receptors (TLRs). If pathogens cannot be eliminated, they may elicit chronic inflammation, which may be partly mediated via TLRs. Additionally, chronic inflammation has long been suggested to trigger tissue tumorous transformation. Inflammation, the seventh hallmark of cancer, may affect all phases of tumor development, and evade the immune system. Inflammation acts as a cellular stressor and may trigger DNA damage or genetic instability. Furthermore, chronic inflammation can provoke genetic mutations and epigenetic mechanisms that promote malignant cell transformation. Colorectal cancers in inflammatory bowel disease patients are considered typical examples of inflammation-related cancers. Although data regarding the role of TLRs in the pathomechanism of cancer-associated colitis are rather conflicting, functionally these molecules can be classified as "largely antitumorigenic" and "largely pro-tumorigenic" with the caveat that the underlying signaling pathways are mainly context (i.e., organ-, tissue-, cell-) and ligand-dependent.
Characterizing the genetic basis of innate immune response in TLR4-activated human monocytes. Sarah Kim;Jessica Becker;Matthias Bechheim;Vera Kaiser;Mahdad Noursadeghi;Nadine Fricker;Esther Beier;Sven Klaschik;Peter Boor;Timo Hess;Andrea Hofmann;Stefan Holdenrieder;Jens R Wendland;Holger Fröhlich;Gunther Hartmann;Markus M Nöthen;Bertram Müller-Myhsok;Benno Pütz;Veit Hornung;Johannes Schumacher. 2014. Nat Commun. 5. PMID: 25327457

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a key role in innate immunity. Apart from their function in host defense, dysregulation in TLR signalling can confer risk to autoimmune diseases, septic shock or cancer. Here we report genetic variants and transcripts that are active only during TLR signalling and contribute to interindividual differences in immune response. Comparing unstimulated versus TLR4-stimulated monocytes reveals 1,471 expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) that are unique to TLR4 stimulation. Among these we find functional SNPs for the expression of NEU4, CCL14, CBX3 and IRF5 on TLR4 activation. Furthermore, we show that SNPs conferring risk to primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and celiac disease are immune response eQTLs for PDGFB and IL18R1. Thus, PDGFB and IL18R1 represent plausible candidates for studying the pathophysiology of these disorders in the context of TLR4 activation. In summary, this study presents novel insights into the genetic basis of the innate immune response and exemplifies the value of eQTL studies in the context of exogenous cell stimulation.
Negative regulation of TLR signaling in myeloid cells--implications for autoimmune diseases. Jessica A Hamerman;Jessica Pottle;Minjian Ni;Yantao He;Zhong-Yin Zhang;Jane H Buckner. 2015. Immunol Rev. 269. PMID: 26683155

Toll-like receptors (TLR) are transmembrane pattern recognition receptors that recognize microbial ligands and signal for production of inflammatory cytokines and type I interferon in macrophages and dendritic cells (DC). Whereas TLR-induced inflammatory mediators are required for pathogen clearance, many are toxic to the host and can cause pathological inflammation when over-produced. This is demonstrated by the role of TLR-induced cytokines in autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Because of the potent effects of TLR-induced cytokines, we have diverse mechanisms to dampen TLR signaling. Here, we highlight three pathways that participate in inhibition of TLR responses in macrophages and DC, and their implications in autoimmunity; A20, encoded by the TNFAIP3 gene, Lyp encoded by the PTPN22 gene, and the BCAP/PI3K pathway. We present new findings that Lyp promotes TLR responses in primary human monocytes and that the autoimmunity risk Lyp620W variant is more effective at promoting TLR-induced interleukin-6 than the non-risk Lyp620R protein. This suggests that Lyp serves to downregulate a TLR inhibitory pathway in monocytes, and we propose that Lyp inhibits the TREM2/DAP12 inhibitory pathway. Overall, these pathways demonstrate distinct mechanisms of negative regulation of TLR responses, and all impact autoimmune disease pathogenesis and treatment.
Toll-like Receptors and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Yue Lu;Xinrui Li;Shanshan Liu;Yifan Zhang;Dekai Zhang. 2018. Front Immunol. 9. PMID: 29441063

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one relapsing and lifelong disease that affects millions of patients worldwide. Increasing evidence has recently highlighted immune-system dysfunction, especially toll-like receptors (TLRs)-mediated innate immune dysfunction, as central players in the pathogenesis of IBD. TLRs and TLR-activated signaling pathways are involved not only in the pathogenesis but also in the efficacy of treatment of IBD. By understanding these molecular mechanisms, we might develop a strategy for relieving the experience of long-lasting suffering of those patients and improving their quality of life. The purpose of this review article is to summarize the potential mechanisms of TLR signaling pathways in IBD and the novel potential therapeutic strategies against IBD.
Enhanced susceptibility to chemically induced colitis caused by excessive endosomal TLR signaling in LRBA-deficient mice. Kuan-Wen Wang;Xiaoming Zhan;William McAlpine;Zhao Zhang;Jin Huk Choi;Hexin Shi;Takuma Misawa;Tao Yue;Duanwu Zhang;Ying Wang;Sara Ludwig;Jamie Russell;Miao Tang;Xiaohong Li;Anne R Murray;Eva Marie Y Moresco;Emre E Turer;Bruce Beutler. 2019. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 116. PMID: 31097594

LPS-responsive beige-like anchor (LRBA) protein deficiency in humans causes immune dysregulation resulting in autoimmunity, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), hypogammaglobulinemia, regulatory T (Treg) cell defects, and B cell functional defects, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible are incompletely understood. In an ongoing forward genetic screen for N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-induced mutations that increase susceptibility to dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis in mice, we identified two nonsense mutations in Lrba Although Treg cells have been a main focus in LRBA research to date, we found that dendritic cells (DCs) contribute significantly to DSS-induced intestinal inflammation in LRBA-deficient mice. Lrba -/- DCs exhibited excessive IRF3/7- and PI3K/mTORC1-dependent signaling and type I IFN production in response to the stimulation of the Toll-like receptors (TLRs) 3, TLR7, and TLR9. Substantial reductions in cytokine expression and sensitivity to DSS in LRBA-deficient mice were caused by knockout of Unc93b1, a chaperone necessary for trafficking of TLR3, TLR7, and TLR9 to endosomes. Our data support a function for LRBA in limiting endosomal TLR signaling and consequent intestinal inflammation.
Deletion of TLR5 results in spontaneous colitis in mice. Matam Vijay-Kumar;Catherine J Sanders;Rebekah T Taylor;Amrita Kumar;Jesse D Aitken;Shanthi V Sitaraman;Andrew S Neish;Satoshi Uematsu;Shizuo Akira;Ifor R Williams;Andrew T Gewirtz. 2007. J Clin Invest. 117. PMID: 18008007

Activation of TLRs by bacterial products results in rapid activation of genes encoding products designed to protect the host from perturbing microbes. In the intestine, which is colonized by a large and diverse population of commensal bacteria, TLR signaling may not function in a simple on/off mode. Here, we show that the flagellin receptor TLR5 has an essential and nonredundant role in protecting the gut from enteric microbes. Mice lacking TLR5 (TLR5KO mice) developed spontaneous colitis, as assessed by well-defined clinical, serologic, and histopathologic indicators of this disorder. Compared with WT littermates, TLR5KO mice that had not yet developed robust colitis exhibited decreased intestinal expression of TLR5-regulated host defense genes despite having an increased bacterial burden in the colon. In contrast, such TLR5KO mice displayed markedly increased colonic expression of hematopoietic-derived proinflammatory cytokines, suggesting that elevated levels of bacterial products may result in activation of other TLRs that drive colitis in TLR5KO mice. In accordance, deletion of TLR4 rescued the colitis of TLR5KO mice in that mice lacking both TLR4 and TLR5 also had elevated bacterial loads in the colon but lacked immunological, histopathological, and clinical evidence of colitis. That an engineered innate immune deficiency ultimately results in spontaneous intestinal inflammation supports the notion that an innate immune deficiency might underlie some instances of inflammatory bowel disease.
Toll-like receptors and their role in gastrointestinal disease. Adam G Testro;Kumar Visvanathan. 2009. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 24. PMID: 19638078

The innate immune response to invading pathogens is centred upon a family of non-clonal, germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), the Toll-like receptors (TLRs). These provide specificity for a vast range of microbial pathogens, and offer an immediate anti-microbial response system. Thirteen mammalian TLRs have been described; 10 are expressed in humans, each responsible for the recognition of distinct, invariant microbial structures originating from bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. The two most thoroughly studied are TLR4 and TLR2, the PRRs for Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial products, respectively. TLR4 is also the major receptor recognising endogenous ligands released from damaged or dying cells. Activation of a TLR by its relevant ligand rapidly ignites a complex intracellular signaling cascade that ultimately results in upregulation of inflammatory genes and production of proinflammatory cytokines, interferons and recruitment of myeloid cells. It also stimulates expression, upon antigen presenting cells, of co-stimulatory molecules required to induce an adaptive immune response. Whilst a robust TLR response is critical for survival and defence against invading pathogens, inappropriate signaling in response to alterations in the local microflora environment can be detrimental. Such 'unhelpful TLR responses' could form the basis for a large number of gastrointestinal and liver disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease, viral hepatitis, autoimmune liver diseases and hepatic fibrosis. As our understanding of TLRs expands, the pathogenesis of a number of gastrointestinal disorders will be further elucidated, and this offers potential for specific therapies aimed directly at TLR signaling.
Innate immunity of the ocular surface. Mayumi Ueta;Shigeru Kinoshita. 2009. Brain Res Bull. 81. PMID: 19828129

The ocular surface epithelium serves a critical function as the defensive front line of the innate immune system. While the detection of microbes is arguably its most important task, an exaggerated host defense reaction to endogenous bacterial flora may initiate and perpetuate inflammatory mucosal responses. The ability of cells to recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) mainly depends on the expression of a family of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). A healthy ocular surface is not inflammatory, even though ocular surface epithelium is in constant contact with bacteria and bacterial products. In this study, we show that human ocular surface epithelial cells, both corneal and conjuctival epithelial cells, respond to viral double-stranded RNA mimic polyI:C to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines through TLR3, while they fail to respond functionally to lipopolysaccharide, a TLR4 ligand. Moreover, human ocular surface epithelium responds to flagellins from ocular pathogenic, but not ocular non-pathogenic bacteria, to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines through TLR5. Thus, ocular surface epithelial cells selectively respond to microbial components and induce limited inflammation; immune-competent cells can recognize microbial components through TLRs and induce the inflammation. The unique innate immune response of the ocular surface epithelium may contribute to its coexistence with commensal bacteria. Inflammatory bowel disease is thought to result from an abnormal response to the gut microbiota. Thus, we also considered the possibility of an association between ocular surface inflammation and a disordered innate immune response. IkappaBzeta is important for TLR signaling, in mice, its knock-out produced severe, spontaneous ocular surface inflammation, the eventual loss of goblet cells, and spontaneous perioral inflammation, suggesting that dysfunction/abnormality of innate immunity can lead to ocular surface inflammation.
Toll-like receptors in inflammatory bowel diseases: a decade later. Elke Cario. 2010. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 16. PMID: 20803699

Differential alteration of Toll-like receptor (TLR) expression in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) was first described 10 years ago. Since then, studies from many groups have led to the current concept that TLRs represent key mediators of innate host defense in the intestine, involved in maintaining mucosal as well as commensal homeostasis. Recent findings in diverse murine models of colitis have helped to reveal the mechanistic importance of TLR dysfunction in IBD pathogenesis. It has become evident that environment, genetics, and host immunity form a multidimensional and highly interactive regulatory triad that controls TLR function in the intestinal mucosa. Imbalanced relationships within this triad may promote aberrant TLR signaling, critically contributing to acute and chronic intestinal inflammatory processes in IBD colitis and associated cancer.
Glycogen synthase kinase 3-β: a master regulator of toll-like receptor-mediated chronic intestinal inflammation. Claudia Hofmann;Nadja Dunger;Jürgen Schölmerich;Werner Falk;Florian Obermeier. 2010. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 16. PMID: 20848477

BACKGROUND: A disturbed regulation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signal transduction resulting in the exclusive activation of proinflammatory signaling pathways may be critical for the perpetuation of established chronic colitis. Glycogen synthase kinase 3-β (GSK3-β) was recently identified as an important regulator of TLR signaling mediating excessive inflammatory responses. The aim of this study was to assess the role of GSK3-β activity in chronic intestinal inflammation. METHODS: Chronic colitis was induced by dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) treatment. Mice were treated intraperitoneally with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), CpG-ODN, or GSK3-β inhibitors (SB216763, LiCl). Intestinal inflammation was evaluated by histologic analysis and cytokine secretion of mesenteric lymph node cells (MLC). Nuclear extracts of MLC and lamina propria mononuclear cells (LPMC) were analyzed for nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) and CREB activity. Murine and human intestinal immune cells were stimulated in vitro with CpG-ODN, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), or anti-CD3 with or without LiCl. RESULTS: GSK3-β blockade significantly reduced chronic intestinal inflammation and even abolished the colitis-intensifying effects of CpG-ODN treatment. In vitro inhibition of GSK3-β reduced the proinflammatory phenotype of both murine and human intestinal immune cells from chronic inflamed tissue. In vivo blockade of GSK3-β resulted in a shift from NF-κB activity toward CREB activity in murine MLC and LPMC. CONCLUSIONS: Blockade of GSK3-β attenuates excessive proinflammatory TLR-mediated immune responses. GSK3-β inhibition therefore constitutes a promising therapeutic option for selectively reducing exaggerated intestinal immune reactions toward the luminal flora in inflammatory bowel disease.
Tribbles 2 (Trib2) is a novel regulator of toll-like receptor 5 signaling. Shu-Chen Wei;Ian M Rosenberg;Zhifang Cao;Alan S Huett;Ramnik J Xavier;Daniel K Podolsky. 2012. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 18. PMID: 22271508

BACKGROUND: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are expressed by a variety of cells, including intestinal epithelia. However, the full spectrum of regulators modulating innate responses via TLRs has not been delineated. Tribbles (Trib) have been identified as a highly conserved family of kinase-like proteins. We sought to clarify the role of Trib2 in the TLR signaling pathway. METHODS: Trib2 mRNA and protein levels were analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and western blot, respectively. Immunohistochemical staining was used to determine the expression of Trib2 in human tissue. Involvement of Trib2 in nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathways was assessed in epithelial cells by NF-κB reporter assay. Proteins that interacted with Trib2 were identified by mass spectrometry and confirmed by immunoprecipitation. The domain essential for Trib2 function was mapped using truncated constructs. RESULTS: Trib2 expression is decreased in active inflamed tissue from patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Trib2 is expressed in human and mouse colonic epithelium as well as immune cells, and its expression in epithelium is inducible in a ligand-dependent manner by TLR5 ligand stimulation. Trib2 inhibits TLR5-mediated activation of NF-κB downstream of TRAF6. Trib2 selectively modulates mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways p38 and Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) but not p44/p42 (ERK1/2). NF-κB2 (p100) was identified as a Trib2 binding partner in regulating the TLR5 signaling pathway that leads to inhibition of NF-κB activity. Residues 158-177 in the Trib2 kinase-like domain are required for Trib2 function. CONCLUSIONS: These observations indicate that Trib2 is a novel regulator in the TLR5 signaling pathway and altered expression of Trib2 may play a role in IBD.
Role of gut microbiota in a zebrafish model with chemically induced enterocolitis involving toll-like receptor signaling pathways. Qi He;Lin Wang;Fan Wang;Qiurong Li. 2014. Zebrafish. 11. PMID: 24758288

BACKGROUND/AIMS: It is believed that inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) involves a breakdown in interactions between the resident commensal microbiota and the host immune response. Recent studies have revealed that gut physiology and pathology relevant to human IBD can be rapidly modeled in zebrafish larvae with a number of advantages compared with murine models. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of gut microbiota in zebrafish models with IBD-like enterocolitis. METHODS: IBD-like enterocolitis was induced by exposing larval zebrafish to 2, 4, 6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS). Assays were performed using larval zebrafish collected at 8 and 10 days postfertilization (dpf ). RESULTS: In the absence of gut microbiota, the TNBS-induced enterocolitis was less extensive. The expression of toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) and the TLRs signaling pathway molecules MyD88 and TRIF, the activation of NF-κB, and the production of inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α were stimulated in TNBS-treated zebrafish but there was no corresponding alteration in germ-free fish. With microbial colonization, all results reverted to a pattern similar to that observed in conventionally reared zebrafish. CONCLUSION: We described the key role of gut microbiota in the etiology of a chemically induced larval zebrafish IBD-like model, showing an involvement of TLR signaling pathways.
The Toll-Like Receptor Radical Cycle Pathway: A New Drug Target in Immune-Related Chronic Fatigue. Kurt Lucas;Gerwyn Morris;George Anderson;Michael Maes. 2015. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 14. PMID: 25801843

In this review we discuss that peripheral and central activation of the Toll-like receptor 2/4 (TLR2/4) Radical Cycle may underpin the pathophysiology of immune-related chronic fatigue secondary to other medical diseases and conditions. The TLR Radical Cycle plays a role in illnesses and conditions that are disproportionately commonly comorbid with secondary chronic fatigue, including a) neuroinflammatory disorders, e.g. Parkinson's disease, stroke, depression, psychological stressors, and b) systemic disorders, e.g. (auto)immune disorders, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ankylosing spondylitis, chronic kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, incl. myocardial infarction, cancer and its treatments. Increased TLR signaling is driven by activated immuneinflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative stress pathways, pathogen derived molecular patterns, including lipopolysaccharides, and damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). Newly formed redox-derived DAMPs, secondary to oxidative processes, may further activate the TLR complex leading to an auto-amplifying TLR Radical feedback loop. Increased gut permeability with translocation of gram negative bacteria and LPS, which activates the TLR Radical Cycle, is another pathway that may play a role in most of the abovementioned diseases and the secondary fatigue accompanying them. It is concluded that secondary fatigue may be associated with activation of the TLR Radical Cycle pathway due to activated immune-inflammatory pathways, classical and redox-derived DAMPs and PAMPs plays a role in its pathophysiology. Such an activation of the TLR Radical Cycle pathway may also explain why the abovementioned conditions are primed for an increased expression of secondary chronic fatigue. Targeting the TLR Radical Cycle pathway may be an effective method to treat TLR-Radical Cycle-related diseases such as secondary chronic fatigue.
Enhanced Mucosal Defense and Reduced Tumor Burden in Mice with the Compromised Negative Regulator IRAK-M. Daniel E Rothschild;Yao Zhang;Na Diao;Christina K Lee;Keqiang Chen;Clayton C Caswell;Daniel J Slade;Richard F Helm;Tanya LeRoith;Liwu Li;Irving C Allen. 2016. EBioMedicine. 15. PMID: 27939424

Aberrant inflammation is a hallmark of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer. IRAK-M is a critical negative regulator of TLR signaling and overzealous inflammation. Here we utilize data from human studies and Irak-m-/- mice to elucidate the role of IRAK-M in the modulation of gastrointestinal immune system homeostasis. In human patients, IRAK-M expression is up-regulated during IBD and colorectal cancer. Further functional studies in mice revealed that Irak-m-/- animals are protected against colitis and colitis associated tumorigenesis. Mechanistically, our data revealed that the gastrointestinal immune system of Irak-m-/- mice is highly efficient at eliminating microbial translocation following epithelial barrier damage. This attenuation of pathogenesis is associated with expanded areas of gastrointestinal associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), increased neutrophil migration, and enhanced T-cell recruitment. Further evaluation of Irak-m-/- mice revealed a splice variant that robustly activates NF-κB signaling. Together, these data identify IRAK-M as a potential target for future therapeutic intervention.
Ectopic expression of SIGIRR in the colon ameliorates colitis in mice by downregulating TLR4/NF-κB overactivation. Jinlin Liu;Yanxia Chen;Dongsheng Liu;Wei Liu;Sijun Hu;Nanjin Zhou;Yong Xie. 2017. Immunol Lett. 183. PMID: 28153604

BACKGROUND: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by uncontrolled immune responses in inflamed mucosa, especially the TLR (Toll-like receptor) signaling pathway. Single Ig domain containing IL-1 receptor-related molecule (SIGIRR), a negative regulator of the TLR signaling pathway, whether had a therapeutic effect in a mouse model of IBD, and the underlying mechanism has not been investigated. METHODS: Coacervation was used to prepare chitosan/pUNO-SIGIRR nanoparticles. The nanoparticles were administered to mice with colitis using enteroclysis. The disease activity index (DAI) and hematoxylin and eosin staining (HE) staining were used to evaluate the therapeutic effects of the SIGIRR nanoparticles. Immunohistochemistry was performed to elucidate the underlying mechanism driving these effects. RESULTS: Chitosan/pUNO-SIGIRR nanoparticles were successfully constructed and were spherical, with a mean diameter of less than 100nm, and the plasmid encapsulating efficiency was 99.9%. The chitosan/pUNO-SIGIRR nanoparticles attenuated colonic tissue inflammation through the inhibition of TLR4/NF-κB overactivation by downregulating TLR4, MyD88 and NF-κB p65 expression in a mouse model of colitis. CONCLUSIONS: The novel chitosan/pUNO-SIGIRR nanoparticles had a therapeutic effect on IBD in a mouse model through the inhibition of TLR4/NF-κB overactivation.
NOD2 Suppresses Colorectal Tumorigenesis via Downregulation of the TLR Pathways. S M Nashir Udden;Lan Peng;Jia-Liang Gan;John M Shelton;James S Malter;Lora V Hooper;Md Hasan Zaki. 2017. Cell Rep. 19. PMID: 28658623

Although NOD2 is the major inflammatory bowel disease susceptibility gene, its role in colorectal tumorigenesis is poorly defined. Here, we show that Nod2-deficient mice are highly susceptible to experimental colorectal tumorigenesis independent of gut microbial dysbiosis. Interestingly, the expression of inflammatory genes and the activation of inflammatory pathways, including NF-κB, ERK, and STAT3 are significantly higher in Nod2-/- mouse colons during colitis and colorectal tumorigenesis, but not at homeostasis. Consistent with higher inflammation, there is greater proliferation of epithelial cells in hyperplastic regions of Nod2-/- colons. In vitro studies demonstrate that, while NOD2 activates the NF-κB and MAPK pathways in response to MDP, it inhibits TLR-mediated activation of NF-κB and MAPK. Notably, NOD2-mediated downregulation of NF-κB and MAPK is associated with the induction of IRF4. Taken together, NOD2 plays a critical role in the suppression of inflammation and tumorigenesis in the colon via downregulation of the TLR signaling pathways.
Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Regulates Anti-Inflammatory Action Through 67-kDa Laminin Receptor-Mediated Tollip Signaling Induction in Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated Human Intestinal Epithelial Cells. Eui-Baek Byun;Woo Sik Kim;Nak-Yun Sung;Eui-Hong Byun. 2018. Cell Physiol Biochem. 46. PMID: 29723847

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition that involves chronic inflammation in all or part of the digestive tract. Often painful and debilitating, IBD can lead to life-threatening complications and increase the risk for colon cancer. In this study, we investigated the epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) mediated anti-inflammation response in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human colorectal cells through the negative regulator of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling. METHODS: human intestinal epithelial cells (HT-29) were used in all experiments. Cell cytotoxicity and nitric oxide (NO) were evaluated by WST-1 and the Griess reagent. Western blot analysis and ELISA were used to determine inflammatory mediators and 67-kDa laminin receptor (67LR)-mediated Tollip signaling pathways. RESULTS: Treatment of EGCG and LPS did not affect the cytotoxicity in HT-29 cells. LPS treatment dose-dependently increased the pro-inflammatory cytokine, such as interleukin (IL)-8, whereas EGCG significantly reduced the LPS-stimulated IL-8 production. Additionally, EGCG treatment markedly increased the Toll-interacting protein (Tollip) expression, which negatively regulates the TLR signaling in a dose and time-dependent manner. In particular, in the result from an RNA interference-mediated assay, our finding showed that silencing of Tollip resulted in abrogation of the inhibitory action of EGCG on LPS-induced production of pro-inflammatory mediators (inducible nitric oxide synthase-mediated NO/COX2, and IL-8) and activation of MAPKs and NF-κB signaling pathways. Interestingly, we also found that Tollip expression induced by EGCG could be modulated through 67LR expressed on the surface of HT-29 cells. CONCLUSIONS: Our novel finding indicates that 67LR and Tollip signaling activated by EGCG treatment is essential for inhibition of inflammation in human intestinal epithelial cells.
The long noncoding RNA ROCKI regulates inflammatory gene expression. Qiong Zhang;Ti-Chun Chao;Veena S Patil;Yue Qin;Shashi Kant Tiwari;Joshua Chiou;Alexander Dobin;Chih-Ming Tsai;Zhonghan Li;Jason Dang;Shagun Gupta;Kevin Urdahl;Victor Nizet;Thomas R Gingeras;Kyle J Gaulton;Tariq M Rana. 2019. EMBO J. 38. PMID: 30918008

Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) can regulate target gene expression by acting in cis (locally) or in trans (non-locally). Here, we performed genome-wide expression analysis of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-stimulated human macrophages to identify pairs of cis-acting lncRNAs and protein-coding genes involved in innate immunity. A total of 229 gene pairs were identified, many of which were commonly regulated by signaling through multiple TLRs and were involved in the cytokine responses to infection by group B Streptococcus We focused on elucidating the function of one lncRNA, named lnc-MARCKS or ROCKI (Regulator of Cytokines and Inflammation), which was induced by multiple TLR stimuli and acted as a master regulator of inflammatory responses. ROCKI interacted with APEX1 (apurinic/apyrimidinic endodeoxyribonuclease 1) to form a ribonucleoprotein complex at the MARCKS promoter. In turn, ROCKI-APEX1 recruited the histone deacetylase HDAC1, which removed the H3K27ac modification from the promoter, thus reducing MARCKS transcription and subsequent Ca2+ signaling and inflammatory gene expression. Finally, genetic variants affecting ROCKI expression were linked to a reduced risk of certain inflammatory and infectious disease in humans, including inflammatory bowel disease and tuberculosis. Collectively, these data highlight the importance of cis-acting lncRNAs in TLR signaling, innate immunity, and pathophysiological inflammation.