The expression of TLRs on epithelial cells provides a first line of defense against invading pathogens. We investigated the regulated expression and function of TLR5 and TLR9 on human keratinocytes, because we found by immunohistochemistry that these TLRs are expressed in distinct layers of the epidermis. We found that TGF-α, a growth and differentiation factor that is present during wound healing and in psoriasis, increased the expression of both TLR5 and TLR9 on keratinocytes. In addition, TGF-α regulated the function of TLR5 and TLR9, because activation with their respective ligands enhanced the production of IL-8 and human β-defensins. These findings provide evidence that TGF-α up-regulates TLR expression and function, augmenting host defense mechanisms at epithelial surfaces.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy