In this study, we examined the expression of Toll-like receptor3 (TLR3) by human retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) and determined whether exposure to the TLR3 agonist polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly I:C) would induced the expression of cytokines in these cells. RT-PCR revealed that TLR3 was constitutively expressed in human RPE, and its expression was increased by treatment with poly I:C. After treatment with poly I:C, we determined the expression levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in human RPE using RT-PCR and ELISA. We demonstrated that poly I:C treatment increased the production of TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8 in human RPE. Upon exposure to poly I:C, human RPE initiated antiviral response resulting in the induction of IFN-β mRNA expression and 2′,5′-oligoadenylate synthetase mRNA expression. These results suggest that human RPE may participate in ocular defense mechanism against viral infection through TLR3.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes