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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015, Article ID 794143, 12 pages
Review Article

An Overview of Pathogen Recognition Receptors for Innate Immunity in Dental Pulp

1Department of Conservative Dentistry, Kyung Hee University Dental Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2School of Dentistry, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA, Australia
3Department of Conservative Dentistry, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
4Department of Pharmacology, School of Dentistry, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
5Oral Biology Research Institute, School of Dentistry, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
6Department of Maxillofacial Tissue Regeneration, School of Dentistry and Institute of Oral Biology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
7Department of Conservative Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegidong, Dongdaemoongu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea

Received 1 July 2015; Accepted 28 September 2015

Academic Editor: Anshu Agrawal

Copyright © 2015 Ji-Hyun Jang et al. 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.


Pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs) are a class of germ line-encoded receptors that recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). The activation of PRRs is crucial for the initiation of innate immunity, which plays a key role in first-line defense until more specific adaptive immunity is developed. PRRs differ in the signaling cascades and host responses activated by their engagement and in their tissue distribution. Currently identified PRR families are the Toll-like receptors (TLRs), the C-type lectin receptors (CLRs), the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptors (NLRs), the retinoic acid-inducible gene-I-like receptors (RLRs), and the AIM2-like receptor (ALR). The environment of the dental pulp is substantially different from that of other tissues of the body. Dental pulp resides in a low compliance root canal system that limits the expansion of pulpal tissues during inflammatory processes. An understanding of the PRRs in dental pulp is important for immunomodulation and hence for developing therapeutic targets in the field of endodontics. Here we comprehensively review recent finding on the PRRs and the mechanisms by which innate immunity is activated. We focus on the PRRs expressed on dental pulp and periapical tissues and their role in dental pulp inflammation.