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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
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ISSN Imprimer: 1040-8401
ISSN En ligne: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v22.i3.40
34 pages

Signal Integration Following Toll-like Receptor Triggering

Alexander Dalpke
Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Marburg, Germany
Klaus Heeg
Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Marburg, Germany


Innate immune cells sense infectious danger through recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMP). Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a pivotal role in the recognition of PAMP. Although various TLRs with distinct ligand specificities are expressed almost completely and contemporaneously by innate immune cells, and although central key signal transduction pathways of TLRs are shared, the innate response pattern is not uniform. Innate immune cells organize their response dependent on spatial and temporal requirements and mount a pathogen-specific and microbial-adopted reaction. Thus, after triggering of TLRs, complex signaling interactions take place that control and shape the reactivity patterns of innate immune cells. Here we discuss the central signaling pathways of TLRs and their interconnection with other signaling pathways, with emphasis on Janus kinases/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT)-dependent intracellular signals. Cis and trans acting signal convergence mechanisms and mutual influence of TLR and cytokine signaling pathways determine the response profile. Hence, in innate immune cells, integration and processing of microbial-dependent and immunologic signals is achieved within individual cells to ascertain an appropriate immune response. Knowledge of these complex mechanisms will help to clarify the critical events during initiation of infection, which in turn may lead to new strategies to control and overcome infectious disease.

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