Neutrophil extracellular traps in immunity and disease

Nat Rev Immunol. 2018 Feb;18(2):134-147. doi: 10.1038/nri.2017.105. Epub 2017 Oct 9.


Neutrophils are innate immune phagocytes that have a central role in immune defence. Our understanding of the role of neutrophils in pathogen clearance, immune regulation and disease pathology has advanced dramatically in recent years. Web-like chromatin structures known as neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) have been at the forefront of this renewed interest in neutrophil biology. The identification of molecules that modulate the release of NETs has helped to refine our view of the role of NETs in immune protection, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and cancer. Here, I discuss the key findings and concepts that have thus far shaped the field of NET biology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / immunology
  • Extracellular Traps / immunology*
  • Extracellular Traps / metabolism
  • Host Microbial Interactions / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Infections / immunology
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Models, Immunological
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Thrombosis / immunology


  • Reactive Oxygen Species