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Pathogens: Innate Immune Reponses

Cell Biology

  1. Stefan Ehlers1,
  2. Silvia Bulfone-Paus2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200400140

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Ehlers, S. and Bulfone-Paus, S. 2006. Pathogens: Innate Immune Reponses. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Immunochemistry and Biochemical Microbiology, Parkallee, Borstel, Germany

  2. 2

    Department of Immunology and Cell Biology, Parkallee, Borstel, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Responses of macrophages, dendritic cells, granulocytes, and mast cells constitute the first line of immune defense against infectious agents. These cells have the capacity to recognize and distinguish between physicochemical motifs expressed on microbes and to tailor rapid antimicrobial defenses accordingly. Identification of microbial constituents involves host membrane-bound detectors, called toll-like receptors, and intracellular sensors, termed Nod proteins. Upon activation, the innate immune system arms a series of effector molecules capable of thwarting the growth or killing invading microorganisms, including oxygen and nitrogen metabolites. Innate immune cells also play a central role in instructing the adaptive immune system as to which type of specific response should develop to optimally combat infectious agents. To this end, innate cells translate the sensed danger or damage wrought by infectious agents into a language understood by specific lymphocytes, including membrane-bound costimulatory molecules and soluble mediators in the form of cytokines and chemokines.


  • pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP);
  • toll-like receptors (TLR);
  • Innate Immunity;
  • Adaptive Immunity;
  • Cytokines;
  • Chemokines