Role of Toll-like receptors in liver health and disease

Ruth Broering, Mengji Lu, Joerg F Schlaak
Clinical Science (1979-) 2011, 121 (10): 415-26
TLRs (Toll-like receptors), as evolutionarily conserved germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors, have a crucial role in early host defence by recognizing so-called PAMPs (pathogen-associated molecular patterns) and may serve as an important link between innate and adaptive immunity. In the liver, TLRs play an important role in the wound healing and regeneration processes, but they are also involved in the pathogenesis and progression of various inflammatory liver diseases, including autoimmune liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, fibrogenesis, and chronic HBV (hepatitis B virus) and HCV (hepatitis C virus) infection. Hepatitis viruses have developed different evading strategies to subvert the innate immune system. Thus recent studies have suggested that TLR-based therapies may represent a promising approach in the treatment in viral hepatitis. The present review focuses on the role of the local innate immune system, and TLRs in particular, in the liver.

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