Molecular mechanisms regulating NETosis in infection and disease

Semin Immunopathol. 2013 Jul;35(4):513-30. doi: 10.1007/s00281-013-0384-6. Epub 2013 Jun 4.


Neutrophils are the foot soldiers of the immune system. They home in to the site of infection and kill pathogens by phagocytosis, degranulation, and the release of web-like structures called neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) that trap and kill a variety of microbes. NETs have been shown to play a multitude of additional roles in immunity but have also been implicated in inflammatory and autoimmune disease. Here, we discuss the role of NETs in these various contexts with a particular emphasis on the molecular mechanisms that regulate NET release and clearance. We highlight the comprehensive concepts and explore the important open questions in the field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity / genetics
  • Autoimmunity / immunology
  • Extracellular Space / immunology*
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Infections / genetics
  • Infections / immunology
  • Infections / metabolism
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*