TLR2 controls random motility, while TLR7 regulates chemotaxis of microglial cells via distinct pathways


  • M. Ifuku
  • A. Buonfiglioli
  • P. Jordan
  • S. Lehnardt
  • H. Kettenmann


  • Brain Behavior and Immunity


  • Brain Behav Immun 58: 338-347


  • Microglial cells are the pathologic sensor of the brain, and any pathologic event triggers microglial activation, which involves migration of these cells to a lesion site. Employing different migration assays, we show that ligands for toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 stimulate random motility, while TLR7 ligands are chemoattractants. The subtype specificity of the TLR ligands was verified by using different TLR-deficient (TLRKO) mouse lines. PI3K and Rac inhibition impairs both TLR2- and TLR7-stimulated microglial migration. In contrast, Akt phosphorylation is only required for the TLR2-, but not for the TLR7-stimulated pathway. Interestingly, P2Y12 receptor signaling is involved in the TLR2 activation-induced microglial migration but not TLR7. Furthermore, TLR7 mRNA expression is down-regulated by TLR2 and TLR7 activation. We conclude that TLRs control the migratory behavior of microglia in a distinct manner.