<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 7, Issue 1, February 2011

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The Role of Toll-Like Receptor in the Female Reproductive Tract

M. Moga, M. Mihalache, I. Manitiu, N. Bâgiu

Abstract: The aim of this review was to discuss the role of toll like receptors in the female reproductive tract. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are considered a link between innate (non-specific) and adaptive (specific) immunity and TLRs contribute to the immune system’s capacity to efficiently combat pathogens. This is done by means of the induction of signaling cascades resulting in the induction of type I interferons (IFNs I) and other cytokines. Recognition of pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by TLRs results in the activation of signaling events that induce the expression of effector molecules such as cytokines and chemokines. A normal immune response leads to an adequate clearance of the infection, but the key element of the immune response activation is recognition of the pathogen trough TLRs receptors. The immune response in endometriosis is characterized by a small number of TLR 3 and 4 in the endometrial ectopic cells. The naturally powerful immunostimulatory property of TLR agonists can be exploited for active immunotherapy against cancer. The expression levels of TLR3, TLR4 and TLR9 have clinical interest as indicators of tumor aggressiveness in breast cancer. TLRs may represent also therapeutic targets in breast cancer. Dampened TLR expression in the cervical mucosa is a type-specific mechanism by which HPV 16 interferes with innate immune responses, contributing to viral persistence. TLR up-regulation and resultant cytokine induction are important in subsequent viral clearance.
Keywords: toll-like receptors, immunity, infection, carcinogenesis

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