Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a family of innate immune system receptors that respond to pathogen-derived and tissue damage-related ligands. TLR signaling in immune cells, glia and neurons can play roles in the pathogenesis of stroke, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and multiple sclerosis (MS). Recent findings suggest that TLR signaling also influences multiple dynamic processes in the developing and adult central nervous system including neurogenesis, axonal growth and structural plasticity. In addition, TLRs are implicated in the regulation of behaviors including learning, memory and anxiety. This review describes recently discovered and unexpected roles for TLRs in neuroplasticity, and the implications of these findings for future basic and translational research studies.
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