Important Aspects of Toll-like Receptors: Signaling Pathways in Diseases,
23 August 2021,
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are an important family of receptors that constitute the first line of defense system against microbes. They can recognize both invading pathogens and endogenous danger molecules released from dying cells and damaged tissues and play a key role in linking innate and adaptive immunity. TLRs are widely distributed in both immune and other body cells. The expressions and locations of TLRs are regulated in response to specific molecules derived from pathogens or damaged host cells. The binding of ligands to TLR activates specific intracellular signaling cascades that initiate host defense reactions. Recent studies have shown that gastrointestinal epithelial cells express almost all TLR subtypes characterized to date and that the expression and activation of TLRs in the GI tract are tightly and coordinately regulated. Initiation and perpetuation of the inflammatory intestinal responses in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may result from an exaggerated host defense reaction of the intestinal epithelium to endogenous luminal bacterial flora. Intestinal epithelial cell lines constitutively express several functional Toll-like receptors (TLRs) which appear to be key regulators of the innate response system. Gastric epithelial cells represent the first line of innate immune defence against H. pylori, and respond to infection by initiating numerous cell signalling cascades, resulting in cytokine induction and the subsequent recruitment of inflammatory cells to the gastric mucosa. Pathogen recognition receptors of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) family mediate many of these cell signalling events. Engagement of toll-like receptors on immune and resident vascular cells can affect atherogenesis as signalling downstream of these receptors can elicit proinflammatory cytokine release, lipid uptake, and foam cell formation and activate cells of the adaptive immune system. Tubular epithelial cells are among the non-immune cells that express TLR1, -2, -3, -4, and -6, suggesting that these TLR might contribute to the activation of immune responses in tubulointerstitial injury (e.g., bacterial pyelonephritis, sepsis, and transplant nephropathy). The role of Toll-like receptors as a primary part of our microbe defense system has been shown in several studies, but their possible function as mediators in allergy and asthma remains to be established. An important contributor to microglial activation is toll-like receptor 4, a pathogen-associated molecular pattern receptor known to initiate an inflammatory cascade in response to various CNS stimuli.