An emerging role for neutrophil extracellular traps in noninfectious disease

Nat Med. 2017 Mar 7;23(3):279-287. doi: 10.1038/nm.4294.


The production of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) is a process that enables neutrophils to help catch and kill bacteria. However, increasing evidence suggests that this process might also occur in noninfectious, sterile inflammation. In this Review, we describe the role of NETosis in autoimmunity, coagulation, acute injuries and cancer, and discuss NETs as potential therapeutic targets. Furthermore, we consider whether extracellular DNA is always detrimental in sterile inflammation and whether the source is always NETs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Atherosclerosis / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / immunology*
  • Extracellular Traps / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Vasculitis / immunology
  • Wounds and Injuries / immunology*