Since dendritic cells may play a key role in defense against influenza virus infection, we examined the effects of recombinant hemagglutinin (HA) proteins derived from mouse-adapted H1N1 (A/WSN/1933), swine-origin 2009 pandemic H1N1 (A/Texas/05/2009), and highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 (A/Thailand/KAN-1/2004) viruses on mouse myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs). The results reveal that tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-12 (IL-12) p70, and major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) expression was increased in mDCs after treatment with recombinant HA proteins of H1N1 and H5N1. The specificity of recombinant HA treatments for mDC activation was diminished after proteinase K digestion. HA apparently promotes mDC maturation by enhancing CD40 and CD86 expression and suppressing endocytosis. No significant differences in mDC activation were observed among recombinant proteins of H1N1 and H5N1. The stimulation of mDCs by HA proteins of H1N1 and H5N1 was completely MyD88 dependent. These findings may provide useful information for the development of more-effective influenza vaccines.
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