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Cardiol Res Pract. 2012;2012:181394. doi: 10.1155/2012/181394. Epub 2012 Apr 22.

The Emerging Role of TLR and Innate Immunity in Cardiovascular Disease.

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CSL Behring AG, 3000 Bern, Switzerland.


Cardiovascular disease is a complex disorder involving multiple pathophysiological processes, several of which involve activation of toll-like receptors (TLRs) of the innate immune system. As sentinels of innate immunity TLRs are nonclonally germline-encoded molecular pattern recognition receptors that recognize exogenous as well as tissue-derived molecular dangers signals promoting inflammation. In addition to their expression in immune cells, TLRs are found in other tissues and cell types including cardiomyocytes, endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells. TLRs are differentially regulated in various cell types by several cardiovascular risk factors such as hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia and may represent a key mechanism linking chronic inflammation, cardiovascular disease progression, and activation of the immune system. Modulation of TLR signaling by specific TLR agonists or antagonists, alone or in combination, may be a useful therapeutic approach to treat various cardiovascular inflammatory conditions such as atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial disease, secondary microvascular complications of diabetes, autoimmune disease, and ischemia reperfusion injury. In this paper we discuss recent developments and current evidence for the role of TLR in cardiovascular disease as well as the therapeutic potential of various compounds on inhibition of TLR-mediated inflammatory responses.

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