Glial toll-like receptor signaling in central nervous system infection and autoimmunity

Brain Behav Immun. 2008 Feb;22(2):140-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2007.08.011. Epub 2007 Oct 24.


Innate immunity in the CNS depends primarily on the functions of glial cells, astrocytes and microglia, which are important for the early control of pathogen replication and direct the recruitment and activation of cells of the adaptive immune system required for pathogen clearance. Efficient immune responses are required for clearance of an invading pathogen, but dysregulation of a pro-inflammatory response in the CNS could lead to the development of autoimmunity. This review summarizes the activation of toll-like receptors (TLRs) expressed on glial cells and the functional outcome of these interactions for CNS health and disease which depends on a delicate balance of the protective and toxic effects of molecules induced in the CNS following TLR ligation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity / immunology*
  • Central Nervous System Infections / immunology*
  • Central Nervous System Infections / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neuroglia / immunology*
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism*


  • Toll-Like Receptors