Modulation of immune responses through direct activation of Toll-like receptors to T cells

Authors

  • G. Liu,

    1. Transplantation Biology Research Division, State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology, Institute of Zoology, and
    2. China-US Research Center for Life Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • L. Zhang,

    1. Transplantation Biology Research Division, State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology, Institute of Zoology, and
    2. China-US Research Center for Life Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Y. Zhao

    Corresponding author
    1. Transplantation Biology Research Division, State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology, Institute of Zoology, and
    2. China-US Research Center for Life Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
      Yong Zhao, Transplantation Biology Research Division, State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beichen Xi Road 1–5, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100101, China.
      E-mail: zhaoy@ioz.ac.cn
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Yong Zhao, Transplantation Biology Research Division, State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beichen Xi Road 1–5, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100101, China.
E-mail: zhaoy@ioz.ac.cn

Summary

Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which are a family of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), are involved critically in the generation and regulation of innate immunity as well as initiation of subsequent adaptive immune responses. However, recent research results showed that different subsets of T cells express certain types of TLRs during development and activation stages. Importantly, TLRs participate in the direct regulation of adaptive immune response, possibly as co-stimulatory molecules. In this review we summarize recent studies about the novel regulation of TLRs on the homeostasis and immunity of different T cell subtypes including CD4+CD25+T regulatory cells (Treg) and interleukin (IL)-17-producing CD4+T cells (T helper type 17). The direct involvement of TLRs in T cell-mediated immunity prompted us to reconsider the role of TLRs in the occurrence of autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and graft rejection. The important effects of TLRs in T cell-intrinsic components also prompt us to explore novel vaccine adjuvants for modifying desired immune responses in an efficient way.

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