Characterization of antibodies specific for canine TLR4, 5 and 9 by ELISA, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry

Stephanie Huber, Petra J Roosje, Jozef Janda, Michaela Schnyder, Thomas W Jungi, Giuseppe Bertoni, Andreas Zurbriggen, Iwan A Burgener

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Toll-like receptors recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns of microbial origin, and ligand recognition results in the production of different immune mediators such as pro-inflammatory cytokines, interferon, reactive oxygen and nitrogen intermediates, and upregulation of costimmulatory molecules. As these receptors have a critical role in linking pathogen recognition to induction of inflammation and innate as well as adaptive immunity, there is tremendous interest in understanding how the tissue and cell-type expression of TLRs is regulated and its influence on the local innate immune response. While TLRs are well studied in humans and rodents, to date little is known about them in dogs. The purpose of this study was to develop canine specific antibodies against TLR2, 4, 5 and 9 that were used to measure relative expression of these TLRs in healthy and reactive canine mesenteric lymph nodes. All 8 rabbit sera (2 each for TLR2, 4, 5 and 9) were strongly positive in ELISA against the respective 2 peptides per TLR used for immunization. The purified antibodies selected specifically detected a protein band with an apparent size of approximately 70 kDa in lysates of canine PBMCs by Western blotting. Immunostaining was observed with purified antibodies against TLR4, 5 and 9, whereas for canine TLR2, staining was only observed with the unpurified antibodies. In the mesenteric lymph node of healthy dogs, the overall staining pattern was very similar for TLR4 and 5 with positive cells predominantly found in the internodular areas and lower part of the cortex. Compared to the TLR4 and 5, more cells stained positive for TLR9 especially in the lymphoid nodules. The reactive lymph nodes contained more TLR4 and 9 positive cells. Moreover, a shift of TLR-9 positive cells from the lymphoid follicles to the deep cortex and medullary cords was observed. Whereas TLR9 co-localized with CD79-positive areas, TLR4 and 5 antibodies stained cells primarily in the CD3-positive areas. All three TLR antibodies stained cells within the area that co-localized with lysozyme-positive cells. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the antibodies generated against canine TLR 4, 5 and 9 identify the expression of these TLRs in formalin-fixed canine lymph nodes and demonstrate increased expression in reactive canine mesenteric lymph nodes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)247-54
    Number of pages8
    JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2011


    • Animals
    • Antibodies
    • Blotting, Western
    • Dogs
    • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
    • Female
    • Immunohistochemistry
    • Lymph Nodes
    • Male
    • Rabbits
    • Toll-Like Receptor 4
    • Toll-Like Receptor 5
    • Toll-Like Receptor 9


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