Extracellular matrix (ECM) components, commonly thought to function purely as structural elements are now demonstrated to act as signaling molecules. With the identification of matrix-derived endogenous ligands of Toll-like and NOD-like receptors of innate immunity, a general question about the mechanisms of soluble ECM components signaling as autonomous triggers of sterile or enhancers of pathogen-mediated inflammation gained notable relevance. They act as fundamental danger signals signifying tissue injury by eliciting a robust proinflammatory response. Immense therapeutic potential resides in translating this knowledge into the development of Toll-like and NOD-like receptor inhibitors. This review focuses on the role of ECM-derived ligands of innate immunity receptors as mediators of renal inflammation and promising pharmacological targets in kidney disease.
Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.