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Rev Med Virol. 2007 Jan-Feb;17(1):35-43.

Toll like receptors and viruses.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


Toll like receptors (TLRs) are 'pattern recognition proteins' that discriminate between self and non-self. They interact with products of infectious agents to activate cells of the innate immune system and also stimulate the adaptive immune system. Intracellular and extracellular TLRs recognise a wide range of viruses leading to the production of different cytokines. In this paper, we summarise the types of TLRs that recognise viruses, the cytokines produced, the specific cell types involved and the activation pathways that have been characterised. We also provide an overview of the viruses demonstrated to interact with TLRs. A greater understanding of relationships between viruses or viral products and TLRs should improve understanding of pathogenesis and lead to the development of new anti-viral therapies.

Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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