Toll-like receptors and diabetes: A therapeutic perspective

Mohan R. Dasu, Sandra Ramirez, Roslyn Rivkah Isseroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Diabetes is a mutifactorial metabolic disorder that leads to a number of complications. Diabetes is estimated to affect 36 million people in the U.S.A., and the prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes is at 9.3% and continues to rise. Evidence from experimental animal models as well as humans has indicated that systemic inflammation plays a role in the pathophysiological processes of diabetes and is facilitated by innate immune responses. TLRs (Toll-like receptors) are key innate immune receptors that recognize conserved PAMPs (pathogen-associated molecular patterns), induce inflammatory responses essential for host defences and initiate an adaptive immune response. Although TLR expression is increased in a plethora of inflammatory disorders, the effects of metabolic aberrations on TLRs and their role in diabetes and its complications is still emerging. In the present paper, we provide a systematic review on how TLRs play a detrimental role in the pathogenic processes [increased blood sugar, NEFAs (non-esterified 'free' fatty acids), cytokines and ROS (reactive oxygen species)] that manifest diabetes. Furthermore, we will highlight some of the therapeutic strategies targeted at decreasing TLRs to abrogate inflammation in diabetes that may eventually result in decreased complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Hyperglycaemia
  • Inflammation
  • Insulin resistance
  • Oxidative stress
  • Toll-like receptor
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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