Involvement of Toll-like receptor 2 on human corneal epithelium during an infection of Pythium insidiosum.

Research paper by Patimaporn P Wongprompitak, Nawarat N Pleewan, Wiwit W Tantibhedhyangkul, Angkana A Chaiprasert, Pinnita P Prabhasawat, Naharuthai N Inthasin, Pattama P Ekpo

Indexed on: 18 Aug '18Published on: 18 Aug '18Published in: Asian Pacific journal of allergy and immunology / launched by the Allergy and Immunology Society of Thailand


Pythium insidiosum, a pathogenic oomycete, is a common causative organism of infectious corneal ulcer. Studying the innate immune response at the ocular surface is important for better understanding of the underlying pathogenesis and host defense against P. insidiosum infection. The present study aims to investigate the role of Toll-like receptor (TLR)2 on human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) in P. insidiosum infection. Human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells were stimulated with either P. insidiosum zoospores or hyphae. NF-κB activation was determined by spectrophotometric measurement of secreted embryonic alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) levels. The role of TLR2 in P. insidiosum infection was studied in HCECs and monocyte derived macrophages (MDMs) using anti-TLR2 neutralizing antibody. The expression levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines were determined. Both P. insidiosum hypha and zoospore stimulated TLR2-dependent NF-κB activation in HEK-Blue™-hTLR2 cells in dose-dependent manner. IL-6 and IL-8, but not IL-1β, were upregulated in HCECs after stimulation with P. insidiosum. Blockade of TLR2 on HCECs altered neither IL-6 nor IL-8 expressions. In contrast, the 3 cytokines were upregulated in the stimulated MDMs and the expression levels of IL-1β and IL-8 but not IL-6 were attenuated in TLR2 blockade MDMs. P. insidiosum was recognized by human TLR2 on HEK cells. The mRNA expression levels of certain cytokines were dependent of TLR2 in P. insidiosum infected MDMs but not HCECs at early stage of infection.