Emerging role of damage-associated molecular patterns derived from mitochondria in inflammation

Trends Immunol. 2011 Apr;32(4):157-64. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2011.01.005. Epub 2011 Feb 19.


Cell death and injury often lead to release or exposure of intracellular molecules called damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) or cell death-associated molecules. These molecules are recognized by the innate immune system by pattern recognition receptors - the same receptors that detect pathogen-associated molecular patterns, thus revealing similarities between pathogen-induced and non-infectious inflammatory responses. Many DAMPs are derived from the plasma membrane, nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum and cytosol. Recently, mitochondria have emerged as other organelles that function as a source of DAMPs. Here, we highlight the significance of mitochondrial DAMPs and discuss their contribution to inflammation and development of human pathologies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Mitochondria / immunology*
  • Necrosis
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Reactive Oxygen Species