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Preferential production of G-CSF by a protein-like Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 secretory factor through activating TLR2-dependent signaling events without activation of JNKs

Meshkibaf, S;Fritz, J;Gottschalk, M;Kim, SO;

Different species and strains of probiotic bacteria confer distinct immunological responses on immune cells. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 (GR-1) is a probiotic bacterial strain found in both the intestinal and urogenital tracts, and has immunomodulatory effects on several cell types including macrophages. However, detailed immunological responses and the signaling mechanism involved in the response are largely unknown.,We examined the production of GR-1-induced cytokines/chemokines and signaling events in macrophages. Among 84 cytokines and chemokines examined, GR-1 discretely induced granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) mRNA at highest levels (>60-fold) without inducing other cytokines such as IL-1, IL-1, IL-6 and TNF- (<5-fold). The toll-like receptor (TLR) 2/6-agonist PAM2CSK4, TLR2/1-agonist PAM3CSK4 and TLR4-agonist lipopolysaccharide induced all of these inflammatory cytokines at high levels (>50-fold). The TLR2 ligand lipoteichoic acid activated all mitogen-activated kinases, Akt and NF-B; whereas, GR-1 selectively activated extracellular regulated kinases and p38, NF-B and Akt, but not c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) in a TLR2-dependent manner. Using specific inhibitors, we demonstrated that lack of JNKs activation by GR-1 caused inefficient production of pro-inflammatory cytokines but not G-CSF production. A secreted heat-labile protein-like molecule, 30-100 kDa in size, induced the preferential production of G-CSF.,This study elucidated unique signaling events triggered by GR-1, resulting in selective production of the immunomodulatory cytokine G-CSF in macrophages.