Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a conserved family of pattern recognition receptors that play a fundamental role in the innate immune system by triggering proinflammatory signaling pathways in response to microbial pathogens through exogenous pathogen-associated molecular patterns or tissue injury through endogenous danger-associated molecular patterns. In the kidney, TLRs are widely expressed in a variety of cell types. Emerging evidence demonstrates the participation of TLRs in the activation of these cells during renal fibrosis. This review highlights the role of TLRs and their endogenous ligands in the pathogenesis of renal fibrosis using ureteral obstruction and diabetic nephropathy as models of chronic kidney disease.
Keywords: Toll-like receptors; diabetic nephropathy; pro-fibrotic; proinflammatory; renal fibrosis; unilateral ureteral obstruction.