A fast procedure for the detection of defects in Toll-like receptor signaling.
von Bernuth H., Ku C-L., Rodriguez-Gallego C., Zhang S., Garty B-Z., Maródi L., Chapel H., Chrabieh M., Miller RL., Picard C., Puel A., Casanova J-L.
OBJECTIVES: Inborn defects in Toll-like receptor signaling are recently described primary immunodeficiencies that predispose affected children to life-threatening infections. Patients with interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-4 deficiency are prone to invasive pneumococcal disease, and patients with UNC-93B deficiency are prone to herpes simplex virus encephalitis. These genetic disorders are underdiagnosed, partly because diagnosis currently requires expensive and time-consuming techniques available at only a few specialized centers worldwide. We, therefore, aimed to develop a cheap and fast test for the detection of defects in Toll-like receptor signaling. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We used flow cytometry to evaluate the cleavage of membrane-bound L-selectin on granulocytes in 38 healthy controls and in 7 patients with genetically defined Toll-like receptor signaling defects (5 patients with interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-4 deficiency and 2 patients with UNC-93B deficiency), on activation with various Toll-like receptor agonists. RESULTS: Impaired L-selectin shedding was observed with granulocytes from all of the interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-4-deficient patients on activation with agonists of Toll-like receptors 1/2, 2/6, 4, 7, and 8 and with granulocytes from all of the UNC-93B-deficient patients on activation with agonists of Toll-like receptors 7 and 8. All of the healthy controls responded to these stimuli. CONCLUSIONS: The assessment of membrane-bound L-selectin cleavage on granulocytes by flow cytometry may prove useful for the detection of primary immunodeficiencies in the Toll-like receptor pathway, such as interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-4 deficiency and UNC-93B deficiency. This procedure is cheap and rapid. It may, therefore, be suitable for routine testing worldwide in children with invasive pneumococcal disease and in patients with herpes simplex encephalitis.