Toll-like receptors and ischemic brain injury

Raffaella Gesuete, Steven G. Kohama, Mary P. Stenzel-Poore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are master regulators of innate immunity and play an integral role in the activation of inflammatory response during infections. In addition, TLRs influence the body's response to numerous forms of injury. Recent data have shown that TLRs play a modulating role in ischemic brain damage after stroke. Interestingly, their stimulation before ischemia induces a tolerant state that is neuroprotective. This phenomenon, referred to as TLR preconditioning, is the result of the reprogramming of TLR response to ischemic injury. This review addresses the role of TLRs in brain ischemia and the activation of endogenous neuroprotective pathways in the setting of preconditioning. We highlight the protective role of interferon-related response and the potential site of action for TLR preconditioning involving the blood-brain barrier. Pharmacologic modulation of TLR activation to promote protection against stroke is a promising approach for the development of prophylactic and immediate therapies targeting ischemic brain injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-386
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Ischemic brain injury
  • Preconditioning
  • Stroke
  • Toll-like receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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