Immune Netw.  2017 Apr;17(2):77-88. 10.4110/in.2017.17.2.77.

Mitochondrial Control of Innate Immunity and Inflammation

  • 1Department of Microbiology, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon 35015, Korea.
  • 2Infection Signaling Network Research Center, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon 35015, Korea.
  • 3Biomedical Research Institute, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon 35015, Korea.
  • 4Center for Convergent Research of Emerging Virus Infection, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Daejeon 34114, Korea.


Mitochondria are key organelles involved in energy production, functioning as the metabolic hubs of cells. Recent findings emphasize the emerging role of the mitochondrion as a key intracellular signaling platform regulating innate immune and inflammatory responses. Several mitochondrial proteins and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species have emerged as central players orchestrating the innate immune responses to pathogens and damaging ligands. This review explores our current understanding of the roles played by mitochondria in regulation of innate immunity and inflammatory responses. Recent advances in our understanding of the relationship between autophagy, mitochondria, and inflammasome activation are also briefly discussed. A comprehensive understanding of mitochondrial role in toll-like receptor-mediated innate immune responses and NLRP3 inflammasome complex activation, will facilitate development of novel therapeutics to treat various infectious, inflammatory, and autoimmune disorders.


Mitochondria; Inflammation; Innate immunity; Autophagy; Inflammasome
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