Sepsis since the discovery of Toll-like receptors: disease concepts and therapeutic opportunities

Crit Care Med. 2007 May;35(5):1404-10. doi: 10.1097/01.CCM.0000261883.16943.4B.


Objective: Sepsis and its sequelae are the leading cause of death in critically ill patients. Discovery in the late 1990s of Toll-like receptors as primary sensors of microbial infection led to significant advances in understanding the pathogenesis of sepsis, including emerging differences between Gram-positive and Gram-negative infection and the potential for the manipulation of Toll-like receptors for the treatment of sepsis. This review describes these advances.

Methods: Bibliographic search of the literature since 1999, with particular emphasis on the conceptual and therapeutic implications of Toll-like receptors for patients with systemic sepsis.

Results and conclusions: Toll-like receptors initiate the inflammatory processes that underlie the clinical response to infection and therefore represent an important putative target for therapeutic intervention.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Sepsis / etiology*
  • Sepsis / microbiology
  • Sepsis / physiopathology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Toll-Like Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Toll-Like Receptors / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptors / physiology*


  • Toll-Like Receptors