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.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, innate immunity, monocytes, macrophages, toll-like receptors.
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