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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 7357162, 18 pages
Research Article

Cathelicidin LL-37 Affects Surface and Intracellular Toll-Like Receptor Expression in Tissue Mast Cells

1Department of Experimental Immunology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
2Department of Molecular Cell Mechanisms, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
3Department of Pharmaceutical Biochemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
4Department of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Correspondence should be addressed to Ewa Brzezińska-Błaszczyk

Received 1 September 2017; Accepted 26 November 2017; Published 19 February 2018

Academic Editor: Xiao-Feng Yang

Copyright © 2018 Justyna Agier et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Undoubtedly, mast cells take part in host defense against microorganisms as they are numerous at the portal of infection, they release many proinflammatory and antimicrobial mediators, and they express pattern recognition receptors, such as TLRs. These receptors play a key role in recognition and binding molecules associated with microorganisms and molecules associated with damage. Cathelicidins exhibit direct antimicrobial activities against a broad spectrum of microbes by perturbing their cell membranes. Accumulating evidence suggests a role for these molecules in supporting cell activation. We examined the impact of human cathelicidin LL-37 on tissue mast cell TLR expression and distribution. Depending on context, we show that LL-37 stimulation resulted in minor to major effects on TLR2, TLR3, TLR4, TLR5, TLR7, and TLR9 expression. Confocal microscopy analysis showed that, upon stimulation, TLRs may translocate from the cell interior to the surface and conversely. FPR2 and EGFR inhibitors reduced the increase in expression of selected receptors. We also established that LL-37 acts as a powerful inducer of CCL3 and ROS generation. These results showed that in response to LL-37, mast cells enhance the capability to detect invading pathogens by modulation of TLR expression in what may be involved FPR2 or EGFR molecules.