Toll-like receptor signalling during infection and inflammation

Published on May 20, 2010 Updated on May 23, 2020   47 min

Other Talks in the Series: The Immune System - key concepts and questions

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All right, so my topic is toll-like receptors and their signaling pathways. And their role in infectious diseases and in the inflammatory process. And really this has been a very exciting area for immunology over the past, I guess, ten years or so. Because the discovery of these toll-like receptors has really increased our understanding of the immune response, especially innate immunity. And really the way we view it is it has been a renaissance of interest in the innate immune response and how that kicks in and respond to bacterial pathogens. Also viruses, fungi, parasites, every pathogen that infects us, these toll-like receptors have a key role. And I'm gonna go over what toll-like receptors are, a bit of history about how they were discovered and then their main role in the inflammatory and infectious response.
So what we're really talking about is inflammation, and inflammatory diseases are a major problem for humanity. The overall incidence is about 25%. And inflammatory diseases include things like infectious diseases, which is a major topic period of course. But also diseases like arthritis, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, asthma, MS, Crohn's disease, colitis. All of these involve defective inflammatory processes and of course, inflammation evolved as a way to handle pathogens and come up with a way to defend us against pathogens like viruses and bacteria. When it goes wrong, we get these horrible diseases. And of course there are drugs out there to treat inflammation, anti-inflammatory drugs. There are newer drugs like Enbrel and Remicade, which block things like TNF, Rituxin blocks B cells, Tosilimumab blocks IL-6. But really over the past 10 to 15 years or so, innate immunity has become a major focus for studies into inflammation and the inflammatory process. The hope being that if we understand the innate immune response we'd have better treatments for infection, and also these inflammatory diseases. And this is firmly where these toll-like receptors sit, their discovery as I say gave rise to this big increase in knowledge of the innate immune response, and give us new hope for the targeting of these horrible pathogens during infectious diseases.

Toll-like receptor signalling during infection and inflammation

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