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Patten recognition receptors, which recognize pathogens or components of injured cells (danger), trigger activation of the innate immune system. Whether and how the host distinguishes between danger- versus pathogen-associated molecular patterns remains unresolved. We report that CD24-deficient mice exhibit increased susceptibility to danger- but not pathogen-associated molecular patterns. CD24 associates with high mobility group box 1, heat shock protein 70, and heat shock protein 90; negatively regulates their stimulatory activity; and inhibits nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) activation. This occurs at least in part through CD24 association with Siglec-10 in humans or Siglec-G in mice. Our results reveal that the CD24–Siglec G pathway protects the host against a lethal response to pathological cell death and discriminates danger- versus pathogen-associated molecular patterns.