Toll-like receptors, inflammation and tumor in the human female reproductive tract

Li Yu, Liantang Wang, Shangwu Chen
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology: AJRI 2009, 62 (1): 1-8
Toll-like receptors are an important family of pattern recognition receptors. They recognize microbial conserved components and trigger protective responses to the invading pathogens, which constitute a major part of the innate immune system. Toll-like receptors are mainly expressed in immune cells. The current evidences demonstrate that Toll-like receptors are present in some epithelial cells and epithelium derived tumor cells. The expression of Toll-like receptors in these cells is related to infection and inflammation, and tumor progression as well. Genital mucosal epithelium is the first line in defense of microorganism invasion in the female reproductive tract. Toll-like receptors expressed in the genital tract have been implicated in many aspects of reproductive physiology and pathology in the female. In the current review, we will focus on the expression of Toll-like receptors in the female genital mucosa and its association with anti-infection immunity and tumorigenesis.

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