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The recognition of microbes by the innate immune system is mediated by a family of receptors called pattern recognition receptor (PRR). The specificity of PRR is genetically determined and their main function is to discriminate self from non self via the recognition of motifs expressed by microbes. PRR can also discriminate self from modified self, underlining the role played by PRR in the detection of endogenous (dying cells) and exogenous (microbes) danger signals. PRRs are classified in three families : cell-associated (involved in the internalization or cell activation) and soluble receptors, also called opsonins. PRR play a pivotal in the initiation of protective adaptive immune responses. The actual concept is that the type of PRR recruited will determine, at least in part, the nature of the immune reponse generated, adapted to the motif encountered. Except some PRR, such as the soluble PRR belonging to the pentraxin family, PRR are not used as markers in clinical and diagnostic studies. This may result from the redundancy of PRR that may mask the absence of inefficacy of one PRR that can be compensated by another one. Additional studies are thus required to understand the biology of the PRR and their potential use as clinical and/or biological markers in human diseases. © 2010 - Elsevier Masson SAS - Tous droits réservés.

Original publication




Journal article


Revue Francophone des Laboratoires

Publication Date





41 - 51