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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

Impact factor: 3.857

ISSN Print: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v20.i5.30
14 pages

Critical Roles of Toll-Like Receptors in Host Defense

Tsuneyasu Kaisho
Department of Host Defense, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Osaka 565-0871, Japan; and CREST, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, Japan
Shizuo Akira
Department of Host Defense, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Osaka 565-0871, Japan; and CREST, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, Japan

ABSTRACT

Drosophila Toll is involved not only in dorsoventral patterning of embryos but also in immune responses to microbial infection. Several Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have also been identified in mammals. They are expressed on macrophages or dendritic cells (DCs), which are essential sentinels for innate immunity. These cells utilize TLRs as a recognition and signal transducing receptor for microbial molecular components. The most characterized mammalian TLR, TLR4, is a receptor for lipopolysaccharides (LPS). TLR2 recognizes other components, such as peptideglycans (PGN). This recognition, called pattern recognition, is essential for the establishment of innate immunity, which is the basis for host defense. In this article, we review recent findings about this expanding receptor family.