Alarmins link neutrophils and dendritic cells

Trends Immunol. 2009 Nov;30(11):531-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Aug 21.


Neutrophils are the first major population of leukocyte to infiltrate infected or injured tissues and are crucial for initiating host innate defense and adaptive immunity. Although the contribution of neutrophils to innate immune defense is mediated predominantly by phagocytosis and killing of microorganisms, neutrophils also participate in the induction of adaptive immune responses. At sites of infection and/or injury, neutrophils release numerous mediators upon degranulation or death, among these are alarmins which have a characteristic dual capacity to mobilize and activate antigen-presenting cells. We describe here how alarmins released by neutrophil degranulation and/or death can link neutrophils to dendritic cells by promoting their recruitment and activation, resulting in the augmentation of innate and adaptive immune responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / metabolism*
  • Cathelicidins
  • Cell Communication / immunology
  • Cell Degranulation
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Defensins / metabolism*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • HMGB1 Protein / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Lactoferrin / metabolism*
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Cytokines
  • Defensins
  • HMGB1 Protein
  • Lactoferrin
  • Cathelicidins