WORLD JOURNAL OF HEPATOLOGY, vol.8, no.32, pp.1354-1369, 2016 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are pattern recognition receptors that participate in host defense by recognizing pathogen-associated molecular patterns alongside inflammatory processes by recognizing damage associated molecular patterns. Given constant exposure to pathogens from gut, strict control of TLR-associated signaling pathways is essential in the liver, which otherwise may lead to inappropriate production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and interferons and may generate a predisposition to several autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases. The liver is considered to be a site of tolerance induction rather than immunity in-duction, with specificity in hepatic cell functions and distribution of TLR. Recent data emphasize significant contribution of TLR signaling in chronic liver diseases via complex immune responses mediating hepatocyte (i.e., hepatocellular injury and regeneration) or hepatic stellate cell (i.e., fibrosis and cirrhosis) inflammatory or immune pathologies. Herein, we review the available data on TLR signaling, hepatic expression of TLRs and associated ligands, as well as the contribution of TLRs to the pathophysiology of hepatic diseases.