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The primary cause of cerebrovascular disease is atherosclerosis, to which many factors contribute. At first many saw atherosclerosis as a lipid-driven disease. Recently inflammation has appeared as a significant factor in the disease. Innate immune cells, for example monocytes and macrophages, are important in atherosclerosis. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are the best-studied family of receptor in the immune system. TLR engagement with their ligands stimulates pro-inflammatory cytokine production and foam cell generation. Recently certain TLRs have shown a protective role in atherosclerosis. In this review, we analyse innate immunity, focusing on TLR signalling and macrophages, in atherosclerosis and acute cerebrovascular complications, and thereby discuss their potential as therapeutic targets.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Vasc Pharmacol

Publication Date





146 - 160


Animals, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Atherosclerosis, Cerebrovascular Disorders, Cytokines, Humans, Immunity, Innate, Inflammation, Inflammation Mediators, Ligands, Macrophages, Molecular Targeted Therapy, Risk Factors, Signal Transduction, Toll-Like Receptors