Image_2_Hepatitis B Core Antigen Impairs the Polarization While Promoting the Production of Inflammatory Cytokines of M2 Macrophages via the TLR2 Path.TIF (997.88 kB)
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Image_2_Hepatitis B Core Antigen Impairs the Polarization While Promoting the Production of Inflammatory Cytokines of M2 Macrophages via the TLR2 Pathway.TIF

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posted on 27.03.2020, 04:15 by Hongyu Yi, Ye Zhang, Xiaofei Yang, Mengyuan Li, Haifeng Hu, Jie Xiong, Ning Wang, Jingyi Jin, Yusi Zhang, Yun Song, Xian Wang, Lihua Chen, Jianqi Lian

Although several evidences suggesting the vital roles that innate immunity plays in the persistence and elimination of chronic hepatitis B virus (CHB) infection, the exact mechanism is still complicated. Here, we successfully polarized monocytes derived from healthy human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) into M1/M2 macrophages and detected the effects of hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) on the polarization and function of macrophages via the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 signaling pathway. The results showed that HBcAg had a negligible impact on M1 polarization, while it effectively impaired M2 polarization and promoted the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-α. Additionally, HBcAg treatment increased TLR2 expression on M2 macrophages and TLR2 blockade abolished the effects of HBcAg on the impaired phenotype and pro-inflammatory cytokine productions of M2 macrophages. Signaling pathway analysis revealed that the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) pathway, the downstream of TLR2, was upregulated upon HBcAg treatment in both M1 and M2 macrophages. Furthermore, a CD8+ T-macrophage coculture system implied that compared with PBS stimulation, HBcAg-stimulated M2 macrophages regained their ability to activate CD8+ T cells with higher secretion of IFN-γ. Finally, we found impaired expression of M2-related molecules and increased levels of pro-inflammation cytokines in M2 macrophages from CHB patients upon HBcAg stimulation. In conclusion, these results imply a favorable role of HBcAg in the establishment of a pro-inflammatory microenvironment by macrophages, which may suggest a potential therapeutic strategy of HBcAg-induced macrophage activation in CHB infection.

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