Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) is a pathogen recognition molecule associated with viral infection with double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) as its ligand. We evaluated the role of TLR3 in bacterial pneumonia using Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP). WT and TLR3–/– mice were subjected to a lethal model of KP. Alveolar macrophage polarization, bactericidal activity, and phagocytic capacity were compared. RNA-sequencing was performed on alveolar macrophages from the WT and TLR3–/– mice. Adoptive transfers of alveolar macrophages from TLR3–/– mice to WT mice with KP were evaluated for survival. Expression of TLR3 in postmortem human lung samples from patients who died from gram-negative pneumonia and pathological grading of pneumonitis was determined. Mortality was significantly lower in TLR3–/–, and survival improved in WT mice following antibody neutralization of TLR3 and with TLR3/dsRNA complex inhibitor. Alveolar macrophages from TLR3–/– mice demonstrated increased bactericidal and phagocytic capacity. RNA-sequencing showed an increased production of chemokines in TLR3–/– mice. Adoptive transfer of alveolar macrophages from the TLR3–/– mice restored the survival in WT mice. Human lung samples demonstrated a good correlation between the grade of pneumonitis and TLR3 expression. These data represent a paradigm shift in understanding the mechanistic role of TLR3 in bacterial pneumonia.
Madathilparambil V. Suresh, Vladislav A. Dolgachev, Boya Zhang, Sanjay Balijepalli, Samantha Swamy, Jashitha Mooliyil, Georgia Kralovich, Bivin Thomas, David Machado-Aranda, Monita Karmakar, Sanjeev Lalwani, Arulselvi Subramanian, Arun Anantharam, Bethany B. Moore, Krishnan Raghavendran
Postmortem lungs from patients with