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Adv Immunol. 2006;91:159-73.

Endogenous TLR ligands and autoimmunity.

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  • 1Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene, 81675 Munich, Germany.


Based on an evolutionary conserved repertoire Toll-like-receptors (TLRs) donate specificity to innate immune cells. Therefore, TLRs are considered as paradigmatic for "self" versus "non-self" discrimination. This view, however, needs to be modified since TLR's also appear to recognise "endogeneous", that is host-derived ligands, examples being host-derived DNA and -RNA. Here I discuss physiological and pathophysiological consequences of endogeneous ligand-recognition by TLRs. I conclude that endogeneous ligand recognition by TLRs drives sterile inflammation sustained by innate immune cells in certain autoimmune disorders.

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