Effects of air pollutants on innate immunity: the role of Toll-like receptors and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptors

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Jan;129(1):14-24; quiz 25-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2011.11.004.


Interactions between exposure to ambient air pollutants and respiratory pathogens have been shown to modify respiratory immune responses. Emerging data suggest key roles for Toll-like receptor (TLR) and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor (NLR) signaling in pathogen-induced immune responses. Similarly, immune responses elicited by exposure to air pollutants are mediated by specific TLR- and NLR-dependent mechanisms. This review article will summarize current knowledge about how air pollutants modify TLR- and NLR-dependent signaling and host defense responses in the lung.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / pharmacology*
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects*
  • Inflammasomes / metabolism
  • Nod Signaling Adaptor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / metabolism
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / immunology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Inflammasomes
  • Nod Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition
  • Toll-Like Receptors