Loss of Toll-like receptor 7 alters cytokine production and protects against experimental cerebral malaria. Malaria, caused by Plasmodium sp. parasites, is a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality. Cerebral malaria, characterized by neurological symptoms, is a life-threatening complication of malaria affecting over 500,000 young children in Africa every year. Because of the prevalence and severity of cerebral malaria, a better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms of its pathology is desirable and could inform future development of therapeutics. This study sought to clarify the role of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in promoting immunopathology associated with cerebral malaria, with a particular focus on the understudied TLR7. Using the Plasmodium berghei ANKA mouse model of experimental cerebral malaria, C57BL/6 mice deficient in various TLRs were infected, and their resistance to cerebral malaria and immune activation through cytokine production were measured.
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