JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

The role of toll-like receptors in chronic inflammation

Stefan K Drexler, Brian M Foxwell
International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology 2010, 42 (4): 506-18
19837184
The role of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in innate immunity and their ability to recognise microbial products has been well characterised. TLRs are also able to recognise endogenous molecules which are released upon cell damage and necrosis and have been shown to be present in numerous autoimmune diseases. Therefore, the release of endogenous TLR ligands during inflammation and consequently the activation of TLR signalling pathways may be one mechanism initiating and driving autoimmune diseases. An increasing body of circumstantial evidence implicates a role of TLR signalling in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), atherosclerosis, asthma, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, bowl inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although at present their involvement is not comprehensively defined. However, future therapies targeting individual TLRs or their signalling transducers may provide a more specific way of treating inflammatory diseases without global suppression of the immune system.

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