Maintenance of circulating, functional neutrophils and their robust recruitment to tissues in response to injury and/or microbial infection are crucial for host defense. Equally important, although less well understood, are the processes for removal of these short-lived cells. Here, we review recent findings of novel neutrophil characteristics that determine removal. These neutrophil-derived signals, in turn, can shape the responses of other cells and surrounding tissues and promote a return to homeostasis. If not removed, dying neutrophils disintegrate and release phlogistic cargo that can further contribute to ongoing inflammation, tissue destruction, or autoimmunity.
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