Pattern recognition receptors in the immune response against dying cells

Curr Opin Immunol. 2008 Oct;20(5):530-7. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2008.04.013. Epub 2008 Jun 12.


Pattern recognition receptors (PRR), immune sensors that discriminate self from non-self, link innate to adaptive immunity. PRR are involved in microbe internalization by phagocytes (soluble PRR and endocytic receptors) and/or cell activation (signaling PRR). PRR also recognize dying cells (i.e. modified self). Apoptotic cell recognition involves soluble bridging molecules (e.g. pentraxins) and endocytic receptors (e.g. scavenger receptors, the CD91-calreticulin complex). Apoptotic cells induce an immunosuppressive signal, avoiding the initiation of an autoimmune response. By contrast, necrotic cells, via the release of stimulatory molecules [heat shock protein (HSP), high-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1)], activate immune cells. This review summarizes the PRR involved in the recognition of dying cells and the consequences on the outcome of the immune response directed against dying cell antigens.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins / immunology
  • Acute-Phase Proteins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / immunology*
  • Collectins / immunology
  • Collectins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lectins / immunology
  • Lectins / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / immunology
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / immunology*
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / metabolism
  • Receptors, Scavenger / immunology
  • Receptors, Scavenger / metabolism


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Collectins
  • Lectins
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition
  • Receptors, Scavenger
  • ficolin