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Caught red-handed: uric acid is an agent of inflammation.

Authors
  • Shi, Yan
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Publisher
American Society for Clinical Investigation
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2010
Volume
120
Issue
6
Pages
1809–1811
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1172/JCI43132
PMID: 20501951
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Inflammation occurs in response to both pathogenic insult and tissue damage under sterile conditions, with the latter contributing to the pathogenesis of many diseases. Although several endogenous substances, including uric acid, have been suggested to alert the body to danger and to stimulate inflammation, little is known about their contribution to such responses in vivo. In this issue of the JCI, Kono et al. use newly generated mice with reduced levels of uric acid to investigate its role as an endogenous signal of tissue damage in inflammatory responses to hepatic injury. They find that uric acid is released from dying tissues and induces inflammation to cell death but is not involved in the response to microbial molecules or sterile irritant particles. I believe this to be the first report of an endogenous danger signal acting as a physiological regulator of inflammation.

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