2. Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, USA.
It has been shown that TLR7 and TLR9 signaling play a role in SLE pathogenesis. Our recent study revealed that estrogen receptor α knockout mice have impaired inflammatory responses to TLR3, TLR4, TLR7 and TLR9 ligand stimulation in DCs, B cells and whole spleen cells. These findings indicate that estrogen receptor mediated signaling may impact universal TLR responsiveness. Whether estrogen has a direct or indirect effect on TLR responsiveness by immune cells is not clear. There is evidence of a role of TLR4 in SLE disease pathogenesis, such as the kidney damage, the induction of CD40 and autoantibodies, the suppression of regulatory T cells, and the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g., IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α) in SLE pathogenesis that can be induced by TLR4-mediated monocyte activation, suggesting that TLR4 and TLR4 responsiveness are also important for SLE disease. This review will focus on TLR4 responses and monocytes, which are understudied in systemic autoimmune diseases such as SLE.
Keywords: Toll-like receptor, monocytes, sex, autoimmunity, SLE