Interaction between host cells and microbes is known as crosstalk. Among other mechanisms, this takes place when certain molecules of the micro-organisms are recognized by the toll-like receptors (TLRs) in the body cells, mainly in the intestinal epithelial cells and in the immune cells. TLRs belong to the pattern-recognition receptors and represent the first line of defense against pathogens, playing a pivotal role in both innate and adaptive immunity. Dysregulation in the activity of such receptors can lead to the development of chronic and severe inflammation as well as immunological disorders. Among components present in the diet, flavonoids have been suggested as antioxidant dietary factors able to modulate TLR-mediated signaling pathways. This review focuses on the molecular targets involved in the modulatory action of flavonoids on TLR-mediated signaling pathways, providing an overview of the mechanisms involved in such action. Particular flavonoids have been able to modify the composition of the microbiota, to modulate TLR gene and protein expression, and to regulate the downstream signaling molecules involved in the TLR pathway. These synergistic mechanisms suggest the role of some flavonoids in the preventive effect on certain chronic diseases.
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