Neutrophil, quo vadis?

J Leukoc Biol. 2017 Sep;102(3):685-688. doi: 10.1189/jlb.3MR0117-015R. Epub 2017 Mar 30.


Neutrophils were traditionally considered to be a homogeneous population of terminally differentiated cells with very defined roles in inflammation and fighting infections. However, recent advances in neutrophil research challenge this limited view and demonstrate that neutrophils are highly versatile, play different roles in various pathologic scenarios, and are heterogeneous. With this, it is becoming clear that one term-"neutrophil"-is too general, and more precise nomenclature is urgently required. In this mini review, we discuss the knowns and unknowns in neutrophil terminology and highlight the critical questions that should be addressed for the establishment of clear neutrophil nomenclature.

Keywords: low density neutrophils; neutrophil subsets; normal density neutrophils.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neutrophils / classification*
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Terminology as Topic