An introduction to Toll-like receptors and their possible role in the initiation of labour


Dr S Patni, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Bordsley Green, Birmingham B9 5SS, UK. Email


Toll-like receptors (TLR) have emerged as key upstream mediators of inflammation at many tissue sites in humans. Inflammatory processes are involved in the process of parturition suggesting that TLR activity within gestation-associated tissues might have an important role in the initiation and/or maintenance of normal term labour and in various pathological states of pregnancy such as infection-associated preterm labour. Either TLRs or their signalling molecules might be excellent therapeutic targets for prevention of preterm labour.