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Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 Nov;6(11):823-35.

Toll-like receptors in systemic autoimmune disease.

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Department of Microbiology, Boston University School of Medicine, 80 East Concord Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have a crucial role in the early detection of pathogen-associated molecular patterns and the subsequent activation of the adaptive immune response. Whether TLRs also have an important role in the recognition of endogenous ligands has been more controversial. Numerous in vitro studies have documented activation of both autoreactive B cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells by mammalian TLR ligands. The issue of whether these in vitro observations translate to an in vivo role for TLRs in either the initiation or the progression of systemic autoimmune disease is a subject of intense research; data are beginning to emerge showing that this is the case.

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