TLR4 Polymorphisms and Ageing: Implications for the Pathophysiology of Age-Related Diseases
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Innate immunity provides a first line of host defense against infection by recognizing and killing microbes while simultaneously activating an instructive immune response. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are principal mediators of rapid microbial recognition and function mainly by detection of pathogen-associated molecular patterns that do not exist in the host. Recognition of their ligands leads to a series of signaling events resulting in acute host responses, involved in killing pathogens.
We describe the involvement of TLR4 polymorphisms in ageing, and in particular in age-related diseases, suggesting the crucial role of molecules of innate immunity in pathophysiology of these diseases. Hence, we observed that pro-inflammatory alleles may be related to unsuccessful ageing, such as Alzheimer’s disease, prostate cancer, and atherosclerosis; in contrast, the control of inflammation by anti-inflammatory alleles may result in increased longevity and successful ageing. Finally, a possible therapeutic approach to delay age-related diseases is outlined.