Inflammatory diseases such as Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome (AGS) and severe systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are generally lethal disorders that have been traced to defects in the exonuclease Trex1 (DNAseIII). Mice lacking Trex1 similarly die at an early age through comparable symptoms, including inflammatory myocarditis, through chronic activation of the STING (stimulator of interferon genes) pathway. Here we demonstrate that phagocytes rather than myocytes are predominantly responsible for causing inflammation, an outcome that could be alleviated following adoptive transfer of normal bone marrow into Trex1-/- mice. Trex1-/- macrophages did not exhibit significant augmented ability to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines compared to normal macrophages following exposure to STING-dependent activators, but rather appeared chronically stimulated by genomic DNA. These results shed molecular insight into inflammation and provide concepts for the design of new therapies.