Flagellin Induces the Expression of Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin in Human Keratinocytes via Toll-Like Receptor 5

Le, Tuan Anh; Takai, Toshiro; Vu, Anh Tuan; Kinoshita, Hirokazu; Chen, Xue; Ikeda, Shigaku; Ogawa, Hideoki; Okumura, Ko
April 2011
International Archives of Allergy & Immunology;Apr2011, Vol. 155 Issue 1, p31
Academic Journal
Background: Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), highly expressed by keratinocytes in skin lesions of atopic dermatitis patients and bronchial epithelial cells in asthma, plays a key role in allergic diseases. Information on triggers for the release of TSLP in keratinocytes is still limited. Keratinocytes express Toll-like receptor (TLR) 5, the ligand for which is flagellin, the major structural protein of the flagella of Gram-negative bacteria. IL-4, IL-13 and TNF-α (Th2/TNF) are associated with allergic diseases. TGF-α, one of the ligands for the epidermal growth factor receptor, is overexpressed in keratinocytes in atopic dermatitis. We investigated the induction of TSLP expression in keratinocytes stimulated with flagellin and its modulation by the Th2/TNF cytokines and TGF-α. Methods: Primary human keratinocytes were stimulated with flagellin with or without cytokines. The TSLP released was measured by ELISA. Gene expression was analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR. Results: Stimulation of keratinocytes with flagellin induced the release of TSLP protein and upregulation of the gene expression of TSLP and other pro-inflammatory molecules. The flagellin-induced release of TSLP was enhanced by the Th2/TNF cytokines or TGF-α. Small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of TLR5 expression suppressed the flagellin-induced TSLP gene expression. Conclusions: Flagellin induces TSLP expression in keratinocytes via TLR5 and the expression can be upregulated by a cytokine milieu with Th2/TNF or TGF-α, suggesting that exposure of barrier-defective skin to Gram-negative bacteria or environmental flagellin contributes to the initiation and/or amplification of Th2-type skin inflammation including atopic dermatitis through the induction of TSLP expression in keratinocytes. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel


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