CD14+ cells are required for IL-12 response in bovine blood mononuclear cells activated with Toll-like receptor (TLR) 7 and TLR8 ligands
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Single-stranded viral RNA (ssRNA) was recently identified as the natural ligand for TLR7 and TLR8. ssRNA sequences from viruses, as well as their synthetic analogues stimulate innate immune responses in immune cells from humans and mice, but their immunostimulatory activity has not been investigated in ruminants. In the present investigations, we tested whether synthetic RNA oligoribonucleotides (ORN) can activate immune cells from cattle. In vitro incubation of bovine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with ORN-induced production of IL-12, IFN-g and TNF-a. No significant induction of IFN-a was observed. Depletion of CD14+ cells from PBMC abrogated the IL-12 response and consequently the IFN-g response, suggesting that CD14+ cells are required for PBMC immune activation with ORN. Consistent with these findings, the putative receptors for ORN (TLR7 and TLR8) were expressed at higher levels in the CD14+ fraction than the CD14 PBMC fraction. Pre-treatment of PBMC with bafilomycin (an inhibitor of phagosomal acidification) prior to stimulation with ORN abolished the cytokine responses, confirming that the receptor(s) which mediate the ORN-induced responses are intracellular. These results demonstrate for the first time that the TLR7/8 agonist ORN’s have strong immune stimulatory effects in cattle, and suggest that further investigation on the potential of TLR7/8 ligands to activate innate and adaptive immune responses in domestic animals are warranted.