Expression of Toll-like receptors in the developing brain

PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37767. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037767. Epub 2012 May 30.


Toll-like receptors (TLR) are key players of the innate and adaptive immune response in vertebrates. The original protein Toll in Drosophila melanogaster regulates both host defense and morphogenesis during development. Making use of real-time PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry we systematically examined the expression of TLR1-9 and the intracellular adaptor molecules MyD88 and TRIF during development of the mouse brain. Expression of TLR7 and TLR9 in the brain was strongly regulated during different embryonic, postnatal, and adult stages. In contrast, expression of TLR1-6, TLR8, MyD88, and TRIF mRNA displayed no significant changes in the different phases of brain development. Neurons of various brain regions including the neocortex and the hippocampus were identified as the main cell type expressing both TLR7 and TLR9 in the developing brain. Taken together, our data reveal specific expression patterns of distinct TLRs in the developing mouse brain and lay the foundation for further investigation of the pathophysiological significance of these receptors for developmental processes in the central nervous system of vertebrates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Axons / metabolism
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Toll-Like Receptors / genetics*
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism*
  • Transcriptome*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Toll-Like Receptors