TLR cross-talk specifically regulates cytokine production by B cells from chronic inflammatory disease patients

Madhumita Jagannathan, Hatice Hasturk, Yan Mei Liang, Hyunjin Shin, Jeremy T. Hetzel, Alpdogan Kantarci, Daniel Rubin, Marie E. McDonnell, Thomas E. Van Dyke, Lisa M. Ganley-Leal, Barbara S. Nikolajczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Chronic systemic inflammation links periodontal disease and diabetes to increased incidence of serious comorbidities. Activation of TLRs, particularly TLR2 and TLR4, promotes chronic systemic inflammation. Human B cells have been generally thought to lack these TLRs. However, recent work showed that an increased percentage of circulating B cells from inflammatory disease patients express TLR2 and TLR4, and that TLR engagement on B cells resulted in unexpected changes in gene expression. New data show that B cells from inflammatory disease patients secrete multiple cytokines in response to different classes of TLR ligands. Furthermore, the B cell response to combinations of TLR ligands is cytokine- and ligand-specific. Some cytokines (IL-1β and IL-10) are predominantly regulated by TLR4, but others (IL-8 and TNF-α) are predominantly regulated by TLR2, due in part to TLR-dictated changes in transcription factor/promoter association. TLR2 and TLR9 also regulate B cell TLR4 expression, demonstrating that TLR cross-talk controls B cell responses at multiple levels. Parallel examination of B cells from periodontal disease and diabetes patients suggested that outcomes of TLR cross-talk are influenced by disease pathology. We conclude that disease-associated alteration of B cell TLR responses specifically regulates cytokine production and may influence chronic inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7461-7470
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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