Toll-Like Receptors: Ligands, Cell-Based Models, and Readouts for Receptor Action

Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1390:3-27. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3335-8_1.


This chapter details Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and the tools available to study their biology in vitro. Key parameters to consider before exploring TLR action such as receptor localization, signaling pathways, nature of ligands and cellular expression are introduced. Cellular models (i.e., host cells and readouts) based on the use of cell lines, primary cells, or whole blood are presented. The use of modified TLRs to circumvent some technical problems is also discussed.

Keywords: Cell-based assays; Reporter gene assays; TLR ligands; Toll-like receptors; Whole blood assays.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Line
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Humans
  • Ligands*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Transport
  • Signal Transduction
  • Toll-Like Receptors / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors


  • Ligands
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Transcription Factors