Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 406–415

TLR4 Polymorphisms and Ageing: Implications for the Pathophysiology of Age-Related Diseases

  • Carmela Rita Balistreri
  • Giuseppina Colonna-Romano
  • Domenico Lio
  • Giuseppina Candore
  • Calogero Caruso
Article

Abstract

Introduction

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.

Discussion

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.

Keywords

Ageing longevity innate immunity TLR4 SNP atherosclerosis Alzheimer’s disease cancer 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmela Rita Balistreri
    • 1
  • Giuseppina Colonna-Romano
    • 1
  • Domenico Lio
    • 1
  • Giuseppina Candore
    • 1
  • Calogero Caruso
    • 1
  1. 1.Gruppo di Studio sull’ImmunosenescenzaDipartimento di Biopatologia e Metodologie Biomediche dell’Università di PalermoPalermoItaly

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