Toll-like receptor 2 is expressed on the intestinal M cells in swine
Receptors, Cell Surface
The Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 binds a wide variety of microbial cell wall components. In this study, we investigated the expression pattern of TLR2 in adult swine gut-associated lymphoid tissues using real-time quantitative PCR, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and flow cytometric analysis. The mRNA for TLR2 was preferentially expressed in the mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs) and Peyer's patches (Pps) of adult swine. Expression in these two tissues was approximately 15- and 9-fold higher than that of spleen, respectively. Western blotting further confirmed that the TLR2 protein was highly expressed in the MLNs and Pps. Interestingly, TLR2-expressing cells were found not only in immune cells, such as T cells and B cells, but also in membranous (M) cells. In addition, double immunostaining for TLR2 and cytokeratin 18 revealed that TLR2 was strongly expressed not only in the cytoplasm but also in the apical membrane of the pocket-like M cells. These results indicate that TLR2 on the MLNs and Pps enable the host defense to respond to a variety of cell wall components. Furthermore, the potential function of TLR2 as a pattern recognition receptor and its cellular distribution suggest that TLR2 plays an important role in ligand-specific transcytosis and transport in M cells.