Sterile inflammation: sensing and reacting to damage

Nat Rev Immunol. 2010 Dec;10(12):826-37. doi: 10.1038/nri2873. Epub 2010 Nov 19.


Over the past several decades, much has been revealed about the nature of the host innate immune response to microorganisms, with the identification of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) and pathogen-associated molecular patterns, which are the conserved microbial motifs sensed by these receptors. It is now apparent that these same PRRs can also be activated by non-microbial signals, many of which are considered as damage-associated molecular patterns. The sterile inflammation that ensues either resolves the initial insult or leads to disease. Here, we review the triggers and receptor pathways that result in sterile inflammation and its impact on human health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation Mediators / immunology
  • Mice
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / immunology
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / toxicity
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / immunology
  • Reperfusion Injury / immunology*
  • Signal Transduction / immunology


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition