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.