Toll-like receptors (TLRs) detect microbial infection and have an essential role in the induction of immune responses. TLRs can directly induce innate host defence responses, but the mechanisms of TLR-mediated control of adaptive immunity are not fully understood. Although TLR-induced dendritic cell maturation is required for activation of T-helper (T(H)) cells, the role of TLRs in B-cell activation and antibody production in vivo is not yet known. Here we show that activation and differentiation of T(H) cells is not sufficient for the induction of T-dependent B-cell responses. We find that, in addition to CD4+ T-cell help, generation of T-dependent antigen-specific antibody responses requires activation of TLRs in B cells.
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