Toll-like receptors and the genetics of innate immunity

Donald N Cook, John W Hollingsworth, David A Schwartz
Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2003, 3 (6): 523-9

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The discovery that mammalian Toll-like receptors recognize microbial products and initiate innate immune responses to them has spawned a new field of biology, namely the study of molecular interactions linking microbial recognition to innate and adaptive immune responses. This field has grown very rapidly in recent years, due largely to recent advances in genetic technology. This review summarizes recent work in which genetic approaches have been used to identify novel and important facets of Toll-like receptor function.

RECENT FINDINGS: Recent genetic studies have uncovered a wealth of information relating to ligand-receptor interactions, Toll-like receptor gene regulation, signal transduction, dendritic cell activation and allele-phenotype associations.

SUMMARY: Information emerging from genetic studies of Toll-like receptors has improved our understanding of innate and acquired immunity. This improved understanding promises to facilitate the future development of novel therapies for many different inflammatory diseases including asthma, sepsis and atherosclerosis.

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