Neutrophils: Between host defence, immune modulation, and tissue injury

PLoS Pathog. 2015 Mar 12;11(3):e1004651. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004651. eCollection 2015 Mar.

Abstract

Neutrophils, the most abundant human immune cells, are rapidly recruited to sites of infection, where they fulfill their life-saving antimicrobial functions. While traditionally regarded as short-lived phagocytes, recent findings on long-term survival, neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation, heterogeneity and plasticity, suppressive functions, and tissue injury have expanded our understanding of their diverse role in infection and inflammation. This review summarises our current understanding of neutrophils in host-pathogen interactions and disease involvement, illustrating the versatility and plasticity of the neutrophil, moving between host defence, immune modulation, and tissue damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Cell Survival / immunology
  • Extracellular Traps / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Infections / immunology*
  • Infections / pathology
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / pathology

Grant support

This work was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Emmy Noether Programme HA 5274/3-1 to DH) and the CRC/SFB685 at Tübingen. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.