Free radicals are important antimicrobial effectors that cause damage to DNA, membrane lipids, and proteins. Professional phagocytes produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) that contribute towards the destruction of pathogens. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a fundamental role in the innate immune response and respond to conserved microbial products and endogenous molecules resulting from cellular damage to elicit an effective defense against invading pathogens, tissue injury, or cancer. In recent years, several studies have focused on how the TLR-mediated activation of innate immune cells leads to the production of pro-inflammatory factors upon pathogen invasion. Here, we review recent findings that indicate that TLRs trigger a signaling cascade that induces the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species.
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