The role of neutrophils in inflammation resolution

Semin Immunol. 2016 Apr;28(2):137-45. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2016.03.007. Epub 2016 Mar 24.


The fundamental role played by neutrophils for an efficient, acute inflammatory response has long been appreciated, with the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms largely elucidated over the past decades. However, more recent work suggests that the biological functions exerted by this fascinating leucocyte are somewhat more extensive than previously acknowledged. Here we discuss how extravasated neutrophils govern the initiation of the resolution phase of inflammation by enabling activation of pro-resolving circuits to ensure the safe conclusion of the inflammatory response. The neutrophil 'alarm bell' on resolution is effected through release of soluble mediators as well as apoptotic bodies and other vesicles, which, in turn, can inform and modify the microenvironment ultimately leading to termination of the inflammatory response coinciding with re-establishment of tissue homeostasis and functionality.

Keywords: Inflammation; Neutrophil; Repair; Resolution.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Neutrophil Activation / immunology
  • Neutrophil Infiltration / immunology
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • Neutrophils / pathology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Wound Healing / immunology


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators