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Science. 2007 Sep 14;317(5844):1522-7.

TLR3 deficiency in patients with herpes simplex encephalitis.

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  • 1Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), U550, Faculty Necker, Paris 75015, France.

Abstract

Some Toll and Toll-like receptors (TLRs) provide immunity to experimental infections in animal models, but their contribution to host defense in natural ecosystems is unknown. We report a dominant-negative TLR3 allele in otherwise healthy children with herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) encephalitis. TLR3 is expressed in the central nervous system (CNS), where it is required to control HSV-1, which spreads from the epithelium to the CNS via cranial nerves. TLR3 is also expressed in epithelial and dendritic cells, which apparently use TLR3-independent pathways to prevent further dissemination of HSV-1 and to provide resistance to other pathogens in TLR3-deficient patients. Human TLR3 appears to be redundant in host defense to most microbes but is vital for natural immunity to HSV-1 in the CNS, which suggests that neurotropic viruses have contributed to the evolutionary maintenance of TLR3.

PMID:
17872438
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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