C3

Microbial surfaces

Natural antibodies jitfc

Plasma

IgM

Phosphorylcholine on bacterial membranes and apoptotic cell membranes

Most cell types express pattern recognition receptors and therefore are capable of participating in innate immune responses. Phagocytes, including neutrophils and macrophages, and dendritic cells express the widest variety and greatest amount of these receptors, which is in keeping with their fundamental role in detecting microbes and damaged cells and ingesting them for destruction (as the neutrophils and macrophages do) or reacting in ways that elicit inflammation and subsequent adaptive immunity (which is an important function of dendritic cells). Pattern recognition receptors are linked to intracellular signal transduction pathways that activate various cellular responses, including the production of molecules that promote inflammation and defend against microbes.

We will organize our discussion around several distinct classes of cellular pattern recognition receptors, which differ in their structure and specificity for various types of microbes.

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