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Autoimmun Rev. 2008 Jan;7(3):204-8. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2007.11.006. Epub 2007 Dec 4.

Toll-like receptors and autoimmunity.

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Institut für Klinische Chemie und Laboratoriumsmedizin, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Langenbeckstrasse 1, 55131 Mainz, Germany.


The understanding of autoimmune diseases experienced an impressive boost since the Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have been identified as possible key players in autoimmune pathophysiology. Although these receptors recognize a variety of structures derived from viruses, bacteria and fungi leading to subsequent initiation of the relevant immune responses recent data support the idea that TLRs are crucial in the induction and perpetuation of certain autoimmune diseases, especially the systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In this review we will summarize recent data on involvement of TLRs in the development of autoimmune diseases. This review will focus on TLRs 7, 8 and 9 which were originally identified as receptors specific for bacterial and viral RNA/DNA, but more recent in vitro and in vivo studies have linked these receptors to the detection of host RNA, DNA, and RNA- or DNA-associated proteins in the context of autoimmunity.

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