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J Neurovirol. 2006 Jun;12(3):229-34.

Expression of Toll-like receptor 3 in the human cerebellar cortex in rabies, herpes simplex encephalitis, and other neurological diseases.

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Unité de Neuroimmunologie Virale, Département de Neuroscience, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


There is recent in vitro evidence that human neurons express the innate immune response receptor, Toll-like receptor-3 (TLR-3), and that expression is enhanced in viral infections. The authors examined the immunohistochemical expression of TLR-3 in the cerebellar cortex of postmortem human brains. Purkinje cells were found to express TLR-3 in all cases of rabies (4 of 4) and herpes simplex encephalitis (2 of 2) as well as in cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (1 of 2), stroke (1 of 2), and Alzheimer's disease (3 of 3). In cases of viral infection, direct viral infection was not necessary for enhanced neuronal TLR-3 expression, suggesting that soluble factors likely play an important role in inducing TLR-3 expression. In addition to neurons, occasional Bergmann glia expressed TLR-3 in some cases. This study has provided evidence that human brain neurons can express TLR-3 in vivo and suggests that neurons may play an important role in initiating an inflammatory reaction in a variety of neurological diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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