NETopathies? Unraveling the Dark Side of Old Diseases through Neutrophils

Front Immunol. 2017 Jan 11;7:678. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2016.00678. eCollection 2016.


Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) were initially described as an antimicrobial mechanism of neutrophils. Over the last decade, several lines of evidence support the involvement of NETs in a plethora of pathological conditions. Clinical and experimental data indicate that NET release constitutes a shared mechanism, which is involved in a different degree in various manifestations of non-infectious diseases. Even though the backbone of NETs is similar, there are differences in their protein load in different diseases, which represent alterations in neutrophil protein expression in distinct disorder-specific microenvironments. The characterization of NET protein load in different NET-driven disorders could be of significant diagnostic and/or therapeutic value. Additionally, it will provide further evidence for the role of NETs in disease pathogenesis, and it will enable the characterization of disorders in which neutrophils and NET-dependent inflammation are of critical importance.

Keywords: autoimmunity; autoinflammation; neutrophil; neutrophil extracellular traps; thromboinflammation.

Publication types

  • Review