In situ neutrophil efferocytosis shapes T cell immunity to influenza infection

Nat Immunol. 2020 Sep;21(9):1046-1057. doi: 10.1038/s41590-020-0746-x. Epub 2020 Aug 3.


Early recruitment of neutrophils from the blood to sites of tissue infection is a hallmark of innate immune responses. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which apoptotic neutrophils are cleared in infected tissues during resolution and the immunological consequences of in situ efferocytosis. Using intravital multiphoton microscopy, we show previously unrecognized motility patterns of interactions between neutrophils and tissue-resident phagocytes within the influenza-infected mouse airway. Newly infiltrated inflammatory monocytes become a chief pool of phagocytes and play a key role in the clearance of highly motile apoptotic neutrophils during the resolution phase. Apoptotic neutrophils further release epidermal growth factor and promote the differentiation of monocytes into tissue-resident antigen-presenting cells for activation of antiviral T cell effector functions. Collectively, these results suggest that the presence of in situ neutrophil resolution at the infected tissue is critical for optimal CD8+ T cell-mediated immune protection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Apoptosis
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Movement
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Influenza A virus / physiology*
  • Influenza, Human / immunology*
  • Intravital Microscopy
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / immunology*
  • Phagocytes / immunology*
  • Receptors, CCR2 / genetics
  • Receptors, CCR2 / metabolism*


  • Ccr2 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, CCR2