TLR2 & Co: a critical analysis of the complex interactions between TLR2 and coreceptors.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are key molecules in the innate immune system in the central nervous system. Although astrocytes are believed to play physiological roles in regulating neuronal activity and synaptic transmission, activated astrocytes may also be toxic to neurons. Here, we show that the ligands for TLRs 2, 4, 5 and 6 induce neuronal cell death in neuron-astrocytes co-cultures through the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Inhibition of ROS production by NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin significantly suppresses neuronal cell death. ROS induced in astrocytes via TLRs may be involved in neuroinflammation and a therapeutic target for neurotoxicity by activated astrocytes.