Toll-like receptors and myocardial ischemia/reperfusion, inflammation, and injury

David J. Kaczorowski, Atsunori Nakao, Kenneth R. McCurry, Timothy R. Billiar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Cardiac ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury occurs in several important clinical contexts including percutaneous coronary interventions for acute myocardial ischemia, cardiac surgery in the setting of cardiopulmonary bypass, and cardiac transplantation. While the pathogenesis of I/R injury in these settings is multifactorial, it is clear that activation of the innate immune system and the resultant inflammatory response are important components of I/R injury. Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), originally identified as the sensor for bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), has also been shown to serve as a sensor for endogenous molecules released from damaged or ischemic tissues. Accordingly, recent findings have demonstrated that TLR4 not only plays a central role as a mediator of cardiac dysfunction in sepsis, but also serves as a key mediator of myocardial injury and inflammation in the setting of I/R. Furthermore, TLR4 may play a role in the development of atherosclerotic lesions. Other studies have implicated TLR4 in the adverse remodeling that may occur after ischemic myocardial injury. This emerging body of literature, which is reviewed here, has provided new insight into the early molecular events that mediate myocardial injury and dysfunction in the setting of I/R injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-202
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Cardiology Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart
  • Inflammation
  • Ischemia/reperfusion
  • Toll-like receptors
  • Transplant


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