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Virology. 2004 May 1;322(2):231-8.

Does Toll-like receptor 3 play a biological role in virus infections?

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Department of Neuropharmacology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


The Toll-like receptor (TLR) family functions to recognize conserved microbial and viral structures with the purpose of activating signal pathways to instigate immune responses against infections by these organisms. For example, in vitro studies reveal that the TLR3 ligand is a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), a product of viral infections. From this observation, it has been proposed that TLR3 is likely an important first signal for virus infections. We approached this issue by investigating the role of TLR3 in four different infectious viral models (lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), and reovirus) and in TLR3 genetically deficient ((-/-)) mice. Our results indicate that TLR3 is not universally required for the generation of effective antiviral responses because the absence of TLR3 does not alter either viral pathogenesis or impair host's generation of adaptive antiviral responses to these viruses.

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