Toll-like receptors in ocular surface disease

Exp Eye Res. 2010 Jun;90(6):679-87. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2010.03.012. Epub 2010 Mar 24.


The ability of the ocular surface to mount an immune response is in part attributed to a family of proteins called toll-like receptors (TLRs). The latter are evolutionary conserved receptors that recognize and respond to various microbes and endogenous ligands. In addition to their recognition function, TLR activation triggers a complex signal transduction cascade that induces the production of inflammatory cytokines and co-stimulatory molecules, thus initiating innate and adaptive immunity. Toll-like receptor expression at the ocular surface is modulated during infection (e.g. Herpes simplex, bacterial keratitis and fungal keratitis) as well as during various inflammatory conditions (allergic conjunctivitis and dry-eye syndrome). Here recent findings regarding TLR expression and their involvement in various ocular surface diseases are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Conjunctiva / metabolism*
  • Conjunctivitis, Allergic / metabolism*
  • Cornea / metabolism*
  • Corneal Ulcer / metabolism*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism*


  • Toll-Like Receptors