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International Journal of Inflammation
Volume 2011, Article ID 170352, 21 pages
Review Article

Toll-Like Receptors and Myocardial Inflammation

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA

Received 2 April 2011; Revised 24 May 2011; Accepted 12 June 2011

Academic Editor: Masanori Aikawa

Copyright © 2011 Yan Feng and Wei Chao. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a member of the innate immune system. TLRs detect invading pathogens through the pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) recognition and play an essential role in the host defense. TLRs can also sense a large number of endogenous molecules with the damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that are produced under various injurious conditions. Animal studies of the last decade have demonstrated that TLR signaling contributes to the pathogenesis of the critical cardiac conditions, where myocardial inflammation plays a prominent role, such as ischemic myocardial injury, myocarditis, and septic cardiomyopathy. This paper reviews the animal data on (1) TLRs, TLR ligands, and the signal transduction system and (2) the important role of TLR signaling in these critical cardiac conditions.