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      Toll-like receptor 4 signaling in liver injury and hepatic fibrogenesis

      1 , , 2

      Fibrogenesis & Tissue Repair

      BioMed Central

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          Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a family of transmembrane pattern recognition receptors (PRR) that play a key role in innate and adaptive immunity by recognizing structural components unique to bacteria, fungi and viruses. TLR4 is the most studied of the TLRs, and its primary exogenous ligand is lipopolysaccharide, a component of Gram-negative bacterial walls. In the absence of exogenous microbes, endogenous ligands including damage-associated molecular pattern molecules from damaged matrix and injured cells can also activate TLR4 signaling. In humans, single nucleotide polymorphisms of the TLR4 gene have an effect on its signal transduction and on associated risks of specific diseases, including cirrhosis. In liver, TLR4 is expressed by all parenchymal and non-parenchymal cell types, and contributes to tissue damage caused by a variety of etiologies. Intact TLR4 signaling was identified in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), the major fibrogenic cell type in injured liver, and mediates key responses including an inflammatory phenotype, fibrogenesis and anti-apoptotic properties. Further clarification of the function and endogenous ligands of TLR4 signaling in HSCs and other liver cells could uncover novel mechanisms of fibrogenesis and facilitate the development of therapeutic strategies.

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          Most cited references 129

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          HMG-1 as a late mediator of endotoxin lethality in mice.

          Endotoxin, a constituent of Gram-negative bacteria, stimulates macrophages to release large quantities of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-1 (IL-1), which can precipitate tissue injury and lethal shock (endotoxemia). Antagonists of TNF and IL-1 have shown limited efficacy in clinical trials, possibly because these cytokines are early mediators in pathogenesis. Here a potential late mediator of lethality is identified and characterized in a mouse model. High mobility group-1 (HMG-1) protein was found to be released by cultured macrophages more than 8 hours after stimulation with endotoxin, TNF, or IL-1. Mice showed increased serum levels of HMG-1 from 8 to 32 hours after endotoxin exposure. Delayed administration of antibodies to HMG-1 attenuated endotoxin lethality in mice, and administration of HMG-1 itself was lethal. Septic patients who succumbed to infection had increased serum HMG-1 levels, suggesting that this protein warrants investigation as a therapeutic target.
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            Pattern recognition receptors TLR4 and CD14 mediate response to respiratory syncytial virus.

            The innate immune system contributes to the earliest phase of the host defense against foreign organisms and has both soluble and cellular pattern recognition receptors for microbial products. Two important members of this receptor group, CD14 and the Toll-like receptor (TLR) pattern recognition receptors, are essential for the innate immune response to components of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, mycobacteria, spirochetes and yeast. We now find that these receptors function in an antiviral response as well. The innate immune response to the fusion protein of an important respiratory pathogen of humans, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), was mediated by TLR4 and CD14. RSV persisted longer in the lungs of infected TLR4-deficient mice compared to normal mice. Thus, a common receptor activation pathway can initiate innate immune responses to both bacterial and viral pathogens.
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              Inferences, questions and possibilities in Toll-like receptor signalling.

               Bruce Beutler (2004)
              The Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are the key proteins that allow mammals--whether immunologically naive or experienced--to detect microbes. They lie at the core of our inherited resistance to disease, initiating most of the phenomena that occur in the course of infection. Quasi-infectious stimuli that have been used for decades to study inflammatory mechanisms can activate the TLR family of proteins. And it now seems that many inflammatory processes, both sterile and infectious, may depend on TLR signalling. We are in a good position to apply our understanding of TLR signalling to a range of challenges in immunology and medicine.

                Author and article information

                Fibrogenesis Tissue Repair
                Fibrogenesis & Tissue Repair
                BioMed Central
                21 October 2010
                : 3
                : 21
                [1 ]Division of Digestive Diseases, Zhong Shan Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, Shanghai Medical College, Fu Dan University, Shanghai, China
                [2 ]Division of Liver Diseases, Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA
                Copyright ©2010 Guo and Friedman; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


                Molecular biology


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