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Med Sci (Paris). 2006 Feb;22(2):149-52.

[Innate immunity: cutaneous expression of Toll-like receptors].

[Article in French]

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Service de dermatologie, Hôpital Charles Nicolle, 1, rue Germont, 76031 Rouen, France.


Toll receptors were first identified as an essential molecule for embryonic patterning in Drosophila and were subsequently shown to be a key in antibacterial and antifungal immunity in adult flies. Toll receptors have been conserved throughout evolution. In mammals, TLRs have been implicated in both inflammatory responses and innate host defense to pathogens. The 11 different TLRs recognize conserved molecular patterns of microbial pathogens termed pathogen-specific molecular patterns (PAMPs), that permit to confer responsiveness to a wide variety of pathogens. Endogenous ligands are also able to activate TLRs. All adult tissue is capable to express at least one of member of TLR family, but a largest repertoire of TLRs is found in tissues exposed to the external environment. The TLR activation induce the NF-kappaB translocation to the nucleus and cytokine secretion. Since the primary function of skin is to provide an effective barrier against outside agression, it is likely that keratinocytes may play a role in a rapid and efficient host defence system, and the fact that keratinocytes are capable of expressing a wide variety of TLRs is subsequently not surprising.

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