Paying for the tolls: The high cost of the innate immune system for the cardiac myocyte

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Scopus citations


The cardiac myocyte differs strikingly from the specialized cells of the immune system, which has two different responses to invading organisms and tissue damage. Adaptive or acquired immunity generates highly specific antibodies in response to threats and is an essential component of immunity; however, adaptive immunity can take 4–7 days to mobilize, and a more primitive response, innate immunity, fills the gap. Innate immunity is expressed in complex and in primitive life forms. Specialized receptors, Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which are widely distributed throughout different tissues recognize danger signals and rapidly respond with the release of noxious substances, such as TNFα. The problem is that many endogenous molecules have been found to act as ligands for specific TLRs, and when these molecules are released into the extracellular environment, they can cause problems by activating innate immunity and an inflammatory response. In cardiac myocytes heat shock protein (HSP)60 can activate TLR4, as can HMGB1, and this type of response can amplify the response to ischemia/reperfusion leading to increased cell and tissue injury. Activation of TLRs can potentially amplify chronic, inflammatory diseases, such as ischemic heart failure. Thus, it is important to understand the regulation of the TLRs and their downstream effects. This chapter will focus on the TLRs and cardiac myocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Antibodies
  • Apoptosis
  • Cardiac myocytes
  • Heart failure
  • HSP60
  • HSP70
  • Inflammatory cytokines
  • Innate immunity
  • Necrosis
  • TLR2
  • TLR4
  • TNF
  • Toll-like receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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