RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
The Neutrophil's Role During Health and Disease.
Neutrophils have always been considered as uncomplicated front-line troopers of the innate immune system equipped with limited proinflammatory duties. Yet recently, the role of the neutrophil has been undergoing a rejuvenation of sorts. Neutrophils are now considered complex cells capable of a significant array of specialized functions, and as an effector of the innate immune response, they are able to regulate many processes such as acute injury and repair, cancer, autoimmunity, and chronic inflammatory processes. Furthermore, evidence exists to indicate that neutrophils also contribute to adaptive immunity by aiding the development of specific adaptive immune responses or guiding the subsequent adaptive immune response. With this revived interest in neutrophils and their many novel functions, it is prudent to review what is currently known about neutrophils and, even more importantly, understand what information is lacking. We discuss the essential features of the neutrophil, from its origins, lifespan, subsets, margination and sequestration of the neutrophil to the death of the neutrophil. We highlight neutrophil recruitment to both infected and injured tissues and outline differences in recruitment of neutrophils between different tissues. Finally, we examine how neutrophils use different mechanisms to either bolster protective immune responses or negatively cause pathological outcomes at different locations.
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