JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Toll-like receptors as therapeutic targets in gastrointestinal diseases

Pedro Pimentel-Nunes, João Bruno Soares, Roberto Roncon-Albuquerque, Mário Dinis-Ribeiro, Adelino F Leite-Moreira
Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets 2010, 14 (4): 347-68
20146632

IMPORTANCE OF THE FIELD: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are innate immunity receptors that recognize several different antigens, initiating immunological/inflammatory responses. Recent evidence associates numerous pathophysiological processes and diseases with dysregulated activation of these receptors, conferring a potential therapeutic value to their modulation.

AREAS COVERED IN THIS REVIEW: The aim of this systematic review that covers literature from the past 10 years is to address the role of TLRs in the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal (GI) diseases as well as the therapeutic potential of modulating TLRs' signaling pathways in GI pathology.

WHAT THE READER WILL GAIN: This review shows that TLRs play an important role in the pathophysiology of several GI diseases and that modulating TLRs signaling pathways may have an enormous therapeutic potential. Different methods for modulation of TLRs' activity in GI tract, with direct agonists/antagonists but also with non-specific substances, like antibiotics or probiotics, are presented.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: Even though TLRs modulators have been used for therapy in some GI diseases, further research, particularly in humans, is needed in order to establish the precise role of the different TLRs in the diverse GI diseases and to motivate clinical trials that consider TLRs as therapeutic targets in GI pathology.

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