The long pentraxin PTX3: A prototypical sensor of tissue injury and a regulator of homeostasis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Tissue damage frequently occurs. The immune system senses it and enforces homeostatic responses that lead to regeneration and repair. The synthesis of acute phase molecules is emerging as a crucial event in this program. The prototypic long pentraxin PTX3 orchestrates the recruitment of leukocytes, stabilizes the provisional matrix in order to facilitate leukocyte and stem progenitor cells trafficking, promotes swift and safe clearance of dying cells and of autoantigens, limiting autoimmunity and protecting the vasculature. These non-redundant actions of PTX3 are necessary for the resolution of inflammation. Recent studies have highlighted the mechanisms by which PTX3 adapts the functions of innate immune cells, orchestrates tissue repair and contributes to select the appropriate acquired immune response in various tissues. Conversely, PTX3 continues to be produced in diseases where the inflammatory response does not resolve. It is therefore a valuable biomarker for more precise and personalized stratification of patients, often independently predicting clinical evolution and outcome. There is strong promise for novel therapies based on understanding the mechanisms with which PTX3 plays its homeostatic role, especially in regulating leukocyte migration and the resolution of inflammatory processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-125
Number of pages14
JournalImmunological Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017


  • apoptosis
  • complement activation
  • inflammation
  • pentraxin
  • PTX3
  • tissue damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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