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An absence of dysferlin leads to activation of innate immune receptors such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and skeletal muscle inflammation. Myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88) is a key mediator of TLR-dependent innate immune signalling. We hypothesized that endogenous TLR ligands released from the leaking dysferlin-deficient muscle fibres engage TLRs on muscle and immune cells and contribute to disease progression. To test this hypothesis, we generated and characterized dysferlin and MyD88 double-deficient mice. Double-deficient mice exhibited improved body weight, grip strength, and maximum muscle contractile force at 6–8 months of age when compared to MyD88-sufficient, dysferlin-deficient A/J mice. Double-deficient mice also showed a decrease in total fibre number, which contributed to the observed increase in the number of central nuclei/fibres. These results indicate that there was less regeneration in the double-deficient mice. We next tested the hypothesis that endogenous ligands, such as single-stranded ribonucleic acids (ssRNAs), released from damaged muscle cells bind to TLR-7/8 and perpetuate the disease progression. We found that injection of ssRNA into the skeletal muscle of pre-symptomatic mice (2 months old) resulted in a significant increase in degenerative fibres, inflammation, and regenerating fibres in A/J mice. In contrast, characteristic histological features were significantly decreased in double-deficient mice. These data point to a clear role for the TLR pathway in the pathogenesis of dysferlin deficiency and suggest that TLR-7/8 antagonists may have therapeutic value in this disease. Copyright © 2013 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.