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Papers of the Week

Papers: 19 Feb 2022 - 25 Feb 2022

2022 Feb 14

Brain Behav Immun

Roles of neuronal toll-like receptors in neuropathic pain and central nervous system injuries and diseases.



Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are innate immune receptors that are expressed in immune cells as well as glia and neurons of the central and peripheral nervous systems. They are best known for their role in the host defense in response to pathogens and for the induction of inflammation in infectious and non-infectious diseases. In the central nervous system (CNS), TLRs modulate glial and neuronal functions as well as innate immunity and neuroinflammation under physiological or pathophysiological conditions. The majority of the studies on TLRs in CNS pathologies investigated their overall contribution without focusing on a particular cell type, or they analyzed TLRs in glia and infiltrating immune cells in the context of neuroinflammation and cellular activation. The role of neuronal TLRs in CNS diseases and injuries has received little attention and remains underappreciated. The primary goal of this review is to summarize findings demonstrating the pivotal and unique roles of neuronal TLRs in neuropathic pain, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and CNS injuries. We discuss how the current findings warrant future investigations to better define the specific contributions of neuronal TLRs to these pathologies. We underline the paucity of information regarding the role of neuronal TLRs in other neurodegenerative, demyelinating, and psychiatric diseases. We draw attention to the importance of broadening research on neuronal TLRs in view of emerging evidence demonstrating their distinctive functional properties.