Mitochondrial damage-associated molecular patterns and vascular function

Camilla Ferreira Wenceslau, Cameron G. McCarthy, Theodora Szasz, Kathryn Spitler, Styliani Goulopoulou, R. Clinton Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Immune system activation occurs not only due to foreign stimuli, but also due to endogenous molecules. As such, endogenous molecules that are released into the circulation due to cell death and/or injury alarm the immune system that something has disturbed homeostasis and a response is needed. Collectively, these molecules are known as damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). Mitochondrial DAMPs (mtDAMPs) are potent immunological activators due to the bacterial ancestry of mitochondria. Mitochondrial DAMPs are recognized by specific pattern recognition receptors of the innate immune system, some of which are expressed in the cardiovascular system. Cell death leads to release of mtDAMPs that may induce vascular changes by mechanisms that are currently not well understood. This review will focus on recently published evidence linking mtDAMPs and immune system activation to vascular dysfunction and cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1172-1177
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 7 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Damage-associated molecular patterns
  • Immune system
  • Mitochondria
  • Vascular function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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