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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2012, Article ID 920517, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/920517
Review Article

Pentraxin 3(PTX 3): An Endogenous Modulator of the Inflammatory Response

1Department of Cardiac Surgery, University Hospital and Medical School of Hradec Kralove, Charles University in Prague, 12843 Prague, Czech Republic
2Department of Clinical Immunology and Allergology, University Hospital and Medical School of Hradec Kralove, Charles University in Prague, 12843 Prague, Czech Republic

Received 4 December 2011; Revised 30 January 2012; Accepted 1 February 2012

Academic Editor: Fran├žois Mach

Copyright © 2012 P. Kunes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Inflammatory or anti-inflammatory? That is the question as far as the acute-phase response and its mediators, the pentraxins, are concerned. Only some ten years ago, the classical or short pentraxin C-reactive protein and the newly discovered long pentraxin PTX3 were considered to exert most of the detrimental effects of acute inflammation, whether microbial or sterile in origin. However, accumulating evidence suggests an at least dichotomous, context-dependent outcome attributable to the pentraxins, if not a straightforward anti-inflammatory nature of the acute-phase response. This paper is focused on the inherent effects of pentraxin 3 in inflammatory responses, mainly in coronary artery disease and in Aspergillus fumigatus infection. Both are examples of inflammatory reactions in which PTX3 is substantially involved; the former sterile, the latter infectious in origin. Apart from different inducing noxae, similarities in the pathogenesis of the two are striking. All the same, the introductory question still persists: is the ultimate impact of PTX3 in these conditions inflammatory or anti-inflammatory, paradoxical as the latter might appear? We try to provide an answer such as it emerges in the light of recent findings.