Therapeutic implications of the TLR and VDR partnership

Trends Mol Med. 2007 Mar;13(3):117-24. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2007.01.006. Epub 2007 Feb 5.


The innate immune system provides the host with an immediate and rapid defense against invading microbes. Detection of foreign invaders is mediated by a class of receptors that are known as the pattern recognition receptors, such as the family of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). In humans, ten functional TLRs have been identified and they respond to conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns derived from bacteria, mycoplasma, fungi and viruses. TLR activation leads to direct antimicrobial activity against both intracellular and extracellular bacteria, and induces an antiviral gene program. Recently, it was reported that TLR2 activation leads to the use of vitamin D3 as a mechanism to combat Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Here, we focus on recent findings concerning the TLR-induced antimicrobial mechanisms in humans and the therapeutic implications of these findings. Owing to their capability to combat a wide array of pathogens, TLRs are attractive therapeutic targets. However, additional knowledge about their antimicrobial mechanisms is needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholecalciferol / immunology*
  • Cholecalciferol / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / immunology*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / immunology*
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis / immunology*


  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • TLR2 protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2
  • Cholecalciferol