Korean J Gastroenterol.  2002 Nov;40(5):287-293.

The Gate Way of Communication between Microorganism and Human Body: Toll-like Receptors

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Guri, Korea. hands@hanyang.ac.kr


Innate immunity is the first line of defense against invading microorganisms and does not require the memory or lymphocytic clonal expansion. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play an important role in this innate immune defense. These receptors have pattern-recognition molecules, which are conserved in groups of microorganisms. The TLRs and their signaling pathways are also reserved in mammals, fruit flies and plants as well as in human. The 10 subtypes of TLR exist and the new TLR subtypes are being studied continuously. Each TLR distinguishes specific patterns of microbial component to provoke innate immune response. The activation of innate immunity leads to the development of antigen-specific (adaptive) immunity, indicating its possible role in inflammatory bowel disease. Thus, the TLR signaling pathway represents a important step of the innate immune response to microbial infection and controls both innate and adaptive immune responses.


Toll-like receptors; Innate immunity
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