The innate immune system plays a critical role in protecting neonates against infections early in life and Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are key components of innate immune recognition of pathogens. This study examined the effects of age and stimulation with a TLR 7/8 agonist (R848) on TLR8 mRNA expression by foal neutrophils during the first month of life. We also examined the effects of R848 stimulation on mRNA expression of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 at 1 and 14 days of life. We observed that TLR8 mRNA was constitutively expressed (P<0.05) at all ages examined, and its expression did not change upon stimulation with R848. Stimulation with R848 resulted in significantly increased (P<0.05) expression of IL-6 and IL-8 mRNA at both 1 and 14 days of life. Our results demonstrate that foal neutrophils express constitutive levels of TLR8 mRNA. The increased expression of IL-6 and IL-8, both downstream products of the TLR 7/8 signaling pathway, following stimulation with R848 suggests that additional experiments to confirm the signaling pathway by which R848 stimulates foal neutrophils, and to investigate its ability to stimulate functional responses of foal neutrophils, are merited.
- Innate Immunity
- Toll-like Receptor