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Reduced severity of peanut-induced anaphylaxis in TLR9-deficient mice is associated with selective defects in humoral immunity

Berin, MC;Wang, W;

Signaling through the innate immune system can promote or suppress allergic sensitization. Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) has modulatory effects on the mucosal immune system, and we hypothesized that TLR9 would influence susceptibility to allergic sensitization to foods. We observed that TLR9-/- mice were resistant to peanut-induced anaphylaxis. This was associated with a significant impairment in total immunoglobulin E (IgE) and peanut-specific IgE and IgA, but not IgG1 or Th2 cytokine production. TLR9-/- mice had reduced development of Peyer’s patches, but resistance to sensitization was not restricted to oral routes. Rag1-deficient mice were reconstituted with TLR9+/+ or -/- B cells plus CD4+ T cells. TLR9-/- B cells regained the ability to produce IgE in the presence of a wild-type environment. Our results demonstrate that TLR9 on an unknown cell type is required for the development of IgE-producing B cells, and we conclude that TLR9 signaling indirectly shapes the immune response for optimal IgE production.