TLR8: the forgotten relative revindicated

Cell Mol Immunol. 2012 Nov;9(6):434-8. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2012.38. Epub 2012 Oct 22.


The endosomal Toll-like receptors (TLRs) TLR3, TLR7, TLR8 and TLR9 are important in sensing foreign nucleic acids encountered by phagocytes. Because TLR8 was initially thought to be non-functional in mice, less is known about TLR8 than the genetically and functionally related TLR7. Originally associated with the recognition of single-stranded RNA of viral origin, there is now evidence that human TLR8 is also able to sense bacterial RNA released within phagosomal vacuoles, inducing the production of both nuclear factor (NF)-κB-dependent cytokines and type I interferons (IFNs), such as IFN-β. The functions of TLR8 extend beyond the recognition of foreign pathogens and include cross-talk with other endosomal TLRs, a process that may also have a role in the generation of autoimmunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing / genetics
  • Animals
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Immunological
  • RNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptor 8 / agonists
  • Toll-Like Receptor 8 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptor 8 / metabolism*


  • RNA, Bacterial
  • Toll-Like Receptor 8