Toll-like receptor-dependent immune complex activation of B cells and dendritic cells

Krishna L. Moody, Melissa B. Uccellini, Ana M. Avalos, Ann Marshak-Rothstein, Gregory A. Viglianti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


High titers of autoantibodies reactive with DNA/RNA molecular complexes are characteristic of autoimmune disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In vitro and in vivo studies have implicated the endosomal Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) and Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) in the activation of the corresponding autoantibody producing B cells. Importantly, TLR9/TLR7-defi ciency results in the inability of autoreactive B cells to proliferate in response to DNA/RNA-associated autoantigens in vitro, and in marked changes in the autoantibody repertoire of autoimmune-prone mice. Uptake of DNA/RNAassociated autoantigen immune complexes (ICs) also leads to activation of dendritic cells (DCs) through TLR9 and TLR7. The initial studies from our lab involved ICs formed by a mixture of autoantibodies and cell debris released from dying cells in culture. To better understand the nature of the mammalian ligands that can effectively activate TLR7 and TLR9, we have developed a methodology for preparing ICs containing defi ned DNA fragments that recapitulate the immunostimulatory activity of the previous “black box” ICs. As the endosomal TLR7 and TLR9 function optimally from intracellular acidic compartments, we developed a facile methodology to monitor the traffi cking of defi ned DNA ICs by fl ow cytometry and confocal microscopy. These reagents reveal an important role for nucleic acid sequence, even when the ligand is mammalian DNA and will help illuminate the role of IC traffi cking in the response.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • AM14 transgenic BCR
  • Autoantibodies
  • B cells
  • Biotinylated DNA
  • Endogenous ligands
  • Flt3L-DCs
  • IFNα
  • Immune complex
  • Rheumatoid factor B cell
  • TLR7
  • TLR9


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