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Anders, H. J.; Zecher, D.; Pawar, R. D.; Patole, P. S. (2005): Molecular mechanisms of autoimmunity triggered by microbial infection. In: Arthritis Research & Therapy 7


Autoimmunity can be triggered by microbial infection. In this context, the discovery of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) provides new insights and research perspectives. TLRs induce innate and adaptive antimicrobial immune responses upon exposure to common pathogen-associated molecules, including lipopeptides, lipopolysaccharides, and nucleic acids. They also have the potential, however, to trigger autoimmune disease, as has been revealed by an increasing number of experimental reports. This review summarizes important facts about TLR biology, available data on their role in autoimmunity, and potential consequences for the management of patients with autoimmune disease.