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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2003 Oct;132(2):87-97.

Toll-like receptor-mediated activation of mast cells: implications for allergic disease?

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Dalhousie Inflammation Group, Department of Pathology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Toll-like receptors have a critical role in innate immunity and host defence. However their role in allergic disease has not been studied in great detail. The presence of these receptors on mast cells opens up new possibilities concerning the role of Toll-like receptors in the pathogenesis of asthma and atopic dermatitis. The current review examines the biology of Toll-like receptors expressed on mast cells. In particular, mast cell expression of Toll-like receptors and the diverse responses observed following Toll-like receptor-mediated activation are considered. Several pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and respiratory syncytial virus are known to contribute to the development or maintenance of allergic disease and also express potent activators of the Toll-like receptor pathways. The importance of such interactions and the full role of pathogens in chronic allergic disease remain to be elucidated. The unusual ability of Toll-like receptor 2 activators to selectively induce leukotriene production by mast cells opens up new possibilities concerning mechanisms of disease exacerbation during infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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