CpG DNA binds to Toll-like receptor 9 to stimulate a strong innate immune response. The magnitude, duration and scope of CpG-induced changes in gene expression are incompletely understood despite extensive studies of TLR9 mediated signal transduction pathways. In particular, the prolonged effects of CpG DNA on gene activation have not been investigated despite evidence that a single dose of CpG DNA alters immune reactivity for several weeks. This study used gene expression analysis to monitor changes in mRNA levels for 14 days, and identified the genes, pathways and functional groups triggered in vivo following CpG DNA administration. Two discrete peaks of gene activation (at 3 h and 5 days) were observed after CpG injection. Both the behavior and function of genes activated during the second peak differed from those triggered shortly after CpG administration. Initial gene up-regulation corresponded to a period when TLR9 ligation stimulated genes functionally associated with the generation of innate and adaptive immune responses (e.g. the NF-κB and B-cell receptor pathways). The second peak reflected processes associated with cell division (e.g. cell cycle and DNA replication and repair). The complex bimodal pattern of gene expression elicited by CpG DNA administration provides novel insights into the long-term effects of TLR9 engagement on genes associated with immunity and cell proliferation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology