Toll-like receptor 4 stimulation initiates an inflammatory response that decreases cardiomyocyte contractility

Orna Avlas, Reut Fallach, Asher Shainberg, Eyal Porat, Edith Hochhauser

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have been identified as primary innate immune receptors for the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns by immune cells, initiating a primary response toward invading pathogens and recruitment of the adaptive immune response. TLRs, especially Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), can also be stimulated by host-derived molecules and are expressed in the cardiovascular system, thus acting as a possible key link between cardiovascular diseases and the immune system. TLR4 is involved in the acute myocardial dysfunction caused by septic shock and myocardial ischemia. We used wild-type (WT) mice, TLR4-deficient (TLR4-knockout [ko]) mice, and chimeras that underwent myeloablative bone marrow transplantation to dissociate between TLR4 expression in the heart (TLR4-ko/WT) and the immunohematopoietic system (WT/TLR4-ko). Following lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge (septic shock model) or coronary artery ligation, myocardial ischemia (MI) model, we found WT/TLR4-ko mice challenged with LPS or MI displayed reduced cardiac function, increased myocardial levels of interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α, and upregulation of mRNA encoding TLR4 prior to myocardial leukocyte infiltration. The cardiac function of TLR4-ko or WT/TLR4-ko mice was less affected by LPS and demonstrated reduced suppression by MI compared with WT. These results suggest that TLR4 expressed in the cardiomyocytes plays a key role in this acute phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1895-1909
Number of pages15
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


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