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1.  Comparison of human B cell activation by TLR7 and TLR9 agonists 
BMC Immunology  2008;9:39.
Background
Human B cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) are the only cells known to express both TLR7 and TLR9. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells are the primary IFN-α producing cells in response to TLR7 and TLR9 agonists. The direct effects of TLR7 stimulation on human B cells is less understood. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of TLR7 and TLR9 stimulation on human B cell function.
Results
Gene expression and protein production of cytokines, chemokines, various B cell activation markers, and immunoglobulins were evaluated. Purified human CD19+ B cells (99.9%, containing both naïve and memory populations) from peripheral blood were stimulated with a TLR7-selective agonist (852A), TLR7/8 agonist (3M-003), or TLR9 selective agonist CpG ODN (CpG2006). TLR7 and TLR9 agonists similarly modulated the expression of cytokine and chemokine genes (IL-6, MIP1 alpha, MIP1 beta, TNF alpha and LTA), co-stimulatory molecules (CD80, CD40 and CD58), Fc receptors (CD23, CD32), anti-apoptotic genes (BCL2L1), certain transcription factors (MYC, TCFL5), and genes critical for B cell proliferation and differentiation (CD72, IL21R). Both agonists also induced protein expression of the above cytokines and chemokines. Additionally, TLR7 and TLR9 agonists induced the production of IgM and IgG. A TLR8-selective agonist was comparatively ineffective at stimulating purified human B cells.
Conclusion
These results demonstrate that despite their molecular differences, the TLR7 and TLR9 agonists induce similar genes and proteins in purified human B cells.
doi:10.1186/1471-2172-9-39
PMCID: PMC2503978  PMID: 18652679
2.  Transcriptional networks in plasmacytoid dendritic cells stimulated with synthetic TLR 7 agonists 
BMC Immunology  2007;8:26.
Background
Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells (pDC) comprise approximately 0.2 to 0.8% of the blood mononuclear cells and are the primary type 1 interferon (IFN), producing cells, secreting high levels of IFN in response to viral infections. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells express predominantly TLRs 7 & 9, making them responsive to ssRNA and CpG DNA. The objective of this study was to evaluate the molecular and cellular processes altered upon stimulation of pDC with synthetic TLR 7 and TLR 7/8 agonists. To this end, we evaluated changes in global gene expression upon stimulation of 99.9% pure human pDC with the TLR7 selective agonists 3M-852A, and the TLR7/8 agonist 3M-011.
Results
Global gene expression was evaluated using the Affymetrix U133A GeneChip® and selected genes were confirmed using real time TaqMan® RTPCR. The gene expression profiles of the two agonists were similar indicating that changes in gene expression were solely due to stimulation through TLR7. Type 1 interferons were among the highest induced genes and included IFNB and multiple IFNα subtypes, IFNα2, α5, α6, α8, α1/13, α10, α14, α16, α17, α21. A large number of chemokines and co-stimulatory molecules as well as the chemokine receptor CCR7 were increased in expression indicating maturation and change in the migratory ability of pDC. Induction of an antiviral state was shown by the expression of several IFN-inducible genes with known anti-viral activity. Further analysis of the data using the pathway analysis tool MetaCore gave insight into molecular and cellular processes impacted. The analysis revealed transcription networks that show increased expression of signaling components in TLR7 and TLR3 pathways, and the cytosolic anti-viral pathway regulated by RIG1 and MDA5, suggestive of optimization of an antiviral state targeted towards RNA viruses. The analysis also revealed increased expression of a network of genes important for protein ISGylation as well as an anti-apoptotic and pro-survival gene expression program.
Conclusion
Thus this study demonstrates that as early as 4 hr post stimulation, synthetic TLR7 agonists induce a complex transcription network responsible for activating pDC for innate anti-viral immune responses with optimized responses towards RNA viruses, increased co-stimulatory capacity, and increased survival.
doi:10.1186/1471-2172-8-26
PMCID: PMC2175514  PMID: 17935622

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