About this Research Topic
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) belong to a family of innate immune receptors known as pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), playing an important role in the innate and adaptive immune response. To date, 10 and 13 functional TLRs have been identified in humans and mice, respectively. In mammals, TLRs are expressed in various immune cells including mast cells, natural killer cells, B and T cells, macrophages, monocytes, dendritic cells, neutrophils and basophils, and even in non-immune cells such as fibroblasts, epithelial and endothelial cells, and cells of the nervous system. It has been demonstrated that each TLR is specific for bacterial, fungal or viral components and has a proper cellular localization. In addition, TLRs can also be activated by endogenous ligands, the so-called damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) released by apoptotic/dead cells or by damaged tissues or components of extracellular matrix, participating in the tissue repair and remodeling processes. Although TLRs have been mainly studied for their ability to trigger the immune response, it is now well known that they are involved in many physiological processes, such as embryological development and the maintenance of tissue homeostasis. Moreover, alterations or dysregulation of TLRs expression or their associated signaling pathways are associated with the development of a wide range of diseases, for example neurological disorders, autoimmune diseases and cancer. The importance that TLRs have in the contest of biomedical research is also testified by the fact that in 2011 Dr. Beutler and Hoffmann were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work on TLRs.
Since TLRs orchestrate a great variety of important biological mechanisms, the aim of this Research Topic is to provide an overview of the expression and functions of TLRs in health and disease. The Topic particularly welcomes original research articles about how TLRs genetic alterations (i.e. mutations, polymorphisms, deletions) can drive the development of different types of pathologies or can impact on normal physiological processes.
Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:
- TLRs during embryological development
- TLRs in regulating the immune response against pathogens and tumor cells
- TLRs in tumors
- TLRs in neurological disorders
Keywords: Toll-like receptors, development, neurological disorders, immune system, cancer
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