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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Redirection of allergen-specific TH2 responses by a modified adenine through Toll-like receptor 7 interaction and IL-12/IFN release.

BACKGROUND: Natural or synthetic ligands of Toll-like receptors (TLRs), such as CpG-containing oligodeoxynucleotides and imidazoquinolines, affect the functional phenotype of antigen-specific human T lymphocytes by inducing cytokine release by cells of the innate immunity. OBJECTIVE: In vitro investigation of the ability of substitute adenines (SAs) to affect antigen-presenting cells and shift the functional phenotype of specific human T(H)2 cells was performed. METHODS: The functional profile of hapten- and allergen-specific T-cell lines obtained in the absence or presence of modified adenines was assessed by means of quantitative real-time PCR, flow cytometry, and ELISAs. Activation of TLRs was evaluated by means of nucleofection of HEK293 cells. RESULTS: The synthetic heterocycle, chemically related to adenine with substitution in positions 2-, 8-, and 9- (SA-2), but not its related derivative lacking 2- and 8- substitutions, stimulated the production of high amounts of IL-12, IL-10, TNF-alpha, and IL-6 by CD14(+) cells and IFN-alpha and CXCL10 by blood dendritic cell antigen (BDCA)-4(+) plasmacytoid dendritic cells. A nuclear factor kappaB-dependent signaling pathway mediated by SA-2 ligation of TLR7 was responsible for these effects. SA-2 also redirected the in vitro differentiation of either Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus group 1 or amoxicillin-specific T(H)2 cells toward the T(H)1/T(H)0 phenotype, with parallel downregulation of GATA-3 and upregulation of T-box expressed in T cells transcription factors. CONCLUSION: Critical substitutions of the adenine backbone confer the ability to activate TLR7, inducing the production of modulatory cytokines able to shift human allergen-specific T(H)2 cells to a T(H)1/T(H)0 phenotype. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Appropriately modified adenines might be used as effective adjuvants for the development of novel immunotherapeutic strategies of allergic disorders.[1]


  1. Redirection of allergen-specific TH2 responses by a modified adenine through Toll-like receptor 7 interaction and IL-12/IFN release. Filì, L., Ferri, S., Guarna, F., Sampognaro, S., Manuelli, C., Liotta, F., Cosmi, L., Matucci, A., Vultaggio, A., Annunziato, F., Maggi, E., Guarna, A., Romagnani, S., Parronchi, P. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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