Essential role of the MyD88 pathway, but nonessential roles of TLRs 2, 4, and 9, in the adjuvant effect promoting Th1-mediated autoimmunity

Shao Bo Su, Phyllis B. Silver, Rafael S. Grajewski, Rajeev K. Agarwal, Jun Tang, Chi Chao Chan, Rachel R. Caspi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Induction of tissue-specific experimental autoimmune diseases involves an obligatory adjuvant effect to trigger an innate response of a type that will drive a Th1-biased adaptive response. This is achieved by use of CFA containing mycobacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis), whose recognition by cells of the innate immune system depends on TLRs that signal through the adaptor molecule MyD88. We examined the role of selected components of the MyD88 pathway in promoting experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). Mice deficient in MyD88, TLR2, TLR4, or TLR9 were immunized with the retinal Ag interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein in CFA, and their EAU scores and associated immunological responses were examined. MyD88-/- mice were completely resistant to EAU and had a profound defect in Th1, but not Th2, responses to autoantigen challenge. Surprisingly, TLR2-/-, TLR4-/-, and TLR9-/- mice were fully susceptible to EAU and had unaltered adaptive responses to interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein. Examination of IL-1R family members, which share the common adaptor MyD88 with the TLR family, revealed that IL-1R-deficient mice, but not IL-18-deficient mice, are resistant to EAU and have profoundly reduced Th1 and Th2 responses. These data are compatible with the interpretation that TLR9, TLR4, and TLR2 signaling is either not needed, or, more likely, redundant in the adjuvant effect needed to induce EAU. In contrast, signaling through the IL-1R plays a necessary and nonredundant role in EAU and can by itself account for the lack of EAU development in MyD88 mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6303-6310
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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