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ISRN Neurology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 701950, 19 pages
Review Article

Innate Immune Regulation by Toll-Like Receptors in the Brain

Institute for Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Box 432, 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden

Received 24 July 2012; Accepted 4 September 2012

Academic Editors: A. Martinuzzi and B. Moreno-López

Copyright © 2012 Carina Mallard. 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.


The innate immune system plays an important role in cerebral health and disease. In recent years the role of innate immune regulation by toll-like receptors in the brain has been highlighted. In this paper the expression of toll-like receptors and endogenous toll-like receptor ligands in the brain and their role in cerebral ischemia will be discussed. Further, the ability of systemic toll-like receptor ligands to induce cerebral inflammation will be reviewed. Finally, the capacity of toll-like receptors to both increase (sensitization) and decrease (preconditioning/tolerance) the vulnerability of the brain to damage will be disclosed. Studies investigating the role of toll-like receptors in the developing brain will be emphasized.