Neutrophils Control the Magnitude and Spread of the Immune Response in a Thromboxane A2-mediated Process

J Exp Med. 2013 Feb 11;210(2):375-87. doi: 10.1084/jem.20122183. Epub 2013 Jan 21.


Neutrophils are obligate cells entering lymph nodes shortly after immunization with protein antigens in adjuvants, starting during the first hour and continuing for several days in two distinct waves. Previously, we demonstrated the strong suppressive effects of neutrophils on CD4 T cell and B cell responses, using either neutrophil-depleting antibodies or genetically neutropenic mice. In this study, we find that neutrophils are the major cells controlling the spread of T cell responses to distal lymph nodes. Although in the presence of neutrophils, ∼75% of the response was restricted to the draining node, in their absence, most of the response was found in distal nodes. Prostanoids were responsible for the rapid entry of neutrophils into the draining nodes, as well as for the two distinct neutrophil effects: the modulation of the magnitude of the cellular response, and in its spread outside the draining nodes. Neutrophil-produced thromboxane A(2) was the key eicosanoid controlling both effects. Adoptive transfer of neutrophils into mice genetically deficient in neutrophils indicated their role in both. These functions of neutrophils are important in infections and vaccinations with adjuvants where neutrophils are abundant in the initial stages.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Cyclooxygenase 1 / deficiency
  • Cyclooxygenase 1 / genetics
  • Cyclooxygenase 1 / metabolism
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / deficiency
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / genetics
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunization
  • Lymph Nodes / cytology
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Lymph Nodes / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / deficiency
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • Thromboxane A2 / immunology*
  • Thromboxane A2 / metabolism*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Thromboxane A2
  • Ptgs2 protein, mouse
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Ptgs1 protein, mouse