Cell injury and death leads to the release of intracellular molecules called damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs)—mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is one of these DAMPs. Krychtiuk et al set out to analyze whether levels of mtDNA are associated with 30-day survival and whether this predictive value is modified by the expression of its receptor (toll-like receptor-9).
They found that circulating levels of mtDNA at intensive care unit admission predict mortality in critically ill patients. This association was in particular present in patients with elevated toll-like receptor-9 expression.
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