The role of endosomal toll-like receptors in asthma
Asthma is a heterogeneous inflammatory disease caused by association of genetic and environmental factors and its incidence has significantly increased over the latest years. The clinical manifestations of asthma are the result of airway hyper-reactivity to a variety of triggers such as aeroallergens, viral and bacterial components. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are pathogen associated molecular pattern receptors, which are also expressed in the lung tissue as well as in several cells of the innate and adaptive immune system. Ligation of TLRs results in alterations in the expression of several inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators, which are known to be involved in the pathogenesis of asthma. The endosomal TLRs have been shown to be associated with the induction of asthmatic inflammation (TLR3), and with disease exacerbations (TLR7, TLR8 and TLR9). Targeting these receptors seems to be an effective choice for suppressing airway inflammation, eosinophilia and airway hyperresponsiveness in asthmatic patients. In this review we provide information regarding endosomal TLRs and their role in the pathogenesis of asthma as well as their potential use as targets for the development of novel treatments for the therapy of asthma.