Alarmins of the extracellular space

Jenna L. Dziki, George Hussey, Stephen F. Badylak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The ability of the immune system to discriminate between healthy-self, abnormal-self, and non-self has been attributed mainly to alarmins signaling as “danger signals”. It is now evident, however, that alarmins are much more complex and can perform specialized functions that can regulate a wide spectrum of processes ranging from propagation of disease to tissue homeostasis. As such, alarmins and their signaling mechanisms are now actively pursued as therapeutic targets. The clinical utility of alarmins requires an understanding of their specific localization. Specifically, many alarmins can function paradoxically depending upon their localization, intra or extracellular. The present review focuses upon alarmin presence and differential expression in the extracellular space versus within the cell and how variation of the localization of alarmins can reveal important mechanistic insights into alarmin functions and their efficacy as biomarkers of disease and therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Immunology
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Alarmin
  • Extracellular matrix


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