Free access
Vet. Res.
Volume 37, Number 4, July-August 2006
Page(s) 541 - 551
Published online 28 April 2006
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2006) 541-551
Vet. Res. 37 (2006) 541-551
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2006017

Expression of Toll-like receptor 4 and 2 in horse lungs

Sarabjeet Singh Suria, Kyathanahalli S. Janardhana, Om Parbhakara, Sarah Caldwella, Greg Appleyardb and Baljit Singha

a  Immunology Research Group, Departments of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N5B4, Canada
b  Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5B4, Canada

(Received 13 June 2005; accepted 12 January 2006; published online 28 April 2006)

Abstract - Toll-like receptor (TLR) is a key component in launching innate immune response to microbial challenge. TLR4 and TLR2 are recognized as specific receptors for components of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, respectively. Horses are extremely sensitive to endotoxin-induced cardiopulmonary distress and mortality which causes significant economic losses. To date, there are no data on the expression of TLR4 and TLR2 in horse lungs. Therefore, we examined the expression of TLR4 and TLR2 in lungs from normal or Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (E. coli LPS; 50 ng/kg; iv) treated horses. We also studied the impact of the depletion of pulmonary intravascular macrophages (PIM) on TLR4 and TLR2 expression in normal or LPS-treated horses. RT-PCR showed TLR4 mRNA but not TLR2, in normal horse lungs. PIM depletion reduced TLR4 mRNA expression without affecting TLR2. The LPS treatment increased the expression of TLR4 and TLR2 mRNA in normal and PIM-depleted horses compared to normal saline-treated horses. Light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry showed TLR4 protein in PIM, alveolar macrophages and septal endothelium in lungs from normal or LPS-treated horses. Immuno-gold electron microscopy showed TLR4 in PIM and dual-label immuno-electron microscopy co-localized TLR4 and LPS in the cytoplasm and nucleus of PIM of LPS-treated horses. The present manuscript is the first report on the expression of TLR4 and TLR2 in normal and LPS-treated horses and direct co-localization of TLR4 with LPS molecules in PIM. These data provide evidence that PIM are equipped with TLR4 to handle and rapidly respond to circulating endotoxins.

Key words: immunohistochemistry / lungs / immuno-gold EM / pulmonary intravascular macrophages / LPS

Corresponding author: Baljit Singh

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006