Pentraxins at the crossroads between innate immunity, inflammation, matrix deposition, and female fertility

Annu Rev Immunol. 2005;23:337-66. doi: 10.1146/annurev.immunol.23.021704.115756.


C reactive protein, the first innate immunity receptor identified, and serum amyloid P component are classic short pentraxins produced in the liver. Long pentraxins, including the prototype PTX3, are expressed in a variety of tissues. Some long pentraxins are expressed in the brain and some are involved in neuronal plasticity and degeneration. PTX3 is produced by a variety of cells and tissues, most notably dendritic cells and macrophages, in response to Toll-like receptor (TLR) engagement and inflammatory cytokines. PTX3 acts as a functional ancestor of antibodies, recognizing microbes, activating complement, and facilitating pathogen recognition by phagocytes, hence playing a nonredundant role in resistance against selected pathogens. In addition, PTX3 is essential in female fertility because it acts as a nodal point for the assembly of the cumulus oophorus hyaluronan-rich extracellular matrix. Thus, the prototypic long pentraxin PTX3 is a multifunctional soluble pattern recognition receptor at the crossroads between innate immunity, inflammation, matrix deposition, and female fertility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • C-Reactive Protein / chemistry
  • C-Reactive Protein / genetics
  • C-Reactive Protein / immunology*
  • C-Reactive Protein / physiology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fertility / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Ligands
  • Models, Immunological
  • Nerve Degeneration / etiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Serum Amyloid P-Component / chemistry
  • Serum Amyloid P-Component / genetics
  • Serum Amyloid P-Component / immunology*
  • Serum Amyloid P-Component / physiology*


  • Ligands
  • Serum Amyloid P-Component
  • PTX3 protein
  • C-Reactive Protein