Endogenous TLR ligands and autoimmunity

Adv Immunol. 2006;91:159-73. doi: 10.1016/S0065-2776(06)91004-9.


Based on an evolutionary conserved repertoire Toll-like-receptors (TLRs) donate specificity to innate immune cells. Therefore, TLRs are considered as paradigmatic for "self" versus "non-self" discrimination. This view, however, needs to be modified since TLR's also appear to recognise "endogeneous", that is host-derived ligands, examples being host-derived DNA and -RNA. Here I discuss physiological and pathophysiological consequences of endogeneous ligand-recognition by TLRs. I conclude that endogeneous ligand recognition by TLRs drives sterile inflammation sustained by innate immune cells in certain autoimmune disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology*


  • Autoantigens
  • Ligands
  • Toll-Like Receptors