The role of toll like receptors in giant cell arteritis

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2016 Nov;55(11):1921-1931. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kew001. Epub 2016 Feb 18.


GCA is a common primary systemic vasculitis that results in granulomatous inflammation of medium to large arteries. Both innate and adaptive immune mechanisms combine to drive intimal hyperplasia, luminal stenosis and ultimately occlusion. While the pathogenesis of GCA is incompletely understood, the activation of resident adventitial dendritic cells via toll like receptors (TLRs) appears to be a crucial inciting event. Here we explore the role of TLRs in the pathogenesis of GCA, including their effects on dendritic cell and T cell activation and recruitment, putative infectious triggers for GCA and the potential of TLR inhibition as a novel therapeutic strategy in GCA.

Keywords: dendritic cells; giant cell arteritis pathogenesis; toll like receptors; vascular inflammation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dendritic Cells / physiology
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / etiology*
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infections / physiopathology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / physiopathology
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Toll-Like Receptors / physiology*
  • Vascular Remodeling / physiology
  • Vasculitis / etiology


  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Toll-Like Receptors