Activation of microglia and macrophages in the circumventricular organs of the mouse brain during TLR2-induced fever and sickness responses.


Department of Applied Biology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Matsugasaki, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8585, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) recognizes cell wall components from Gram-positive bacteria. Until now, however, little has been known about the significance of brain TLR2 in controlling inflammation and thermoregulatory responses during systemic Gram-positive bacterial infection. In the present study, the TLR2 immunoreactivity was seen to be prominent in the microglia/macrophages of the circumventricular organs (CVOs) of the mouse brain. The intraperitoneal injection of Pam3CSK4, a TLR2 agonist, induced nuclear factor-κ B activation in the microglia/macrophages of the CVOs. The injection of Pam3CSK4 also produced the expression of Fos at astrocytes and neurons in the CVOs and the regions neighboring the CVOs. The Pam3CSK4 injection induced fever and sickness responses. Pretreatment with lipopolysaccharide, a TLR4 agonist, augmented the Pam3CSK4-induced fever together with the increased TLR2 immunoreactivity. These results indicate that the TLR2 in microglia/macrophages of the CVOs are possibly associated with initiating and transmitting inflammatory responses in the brain.



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