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J Innate Immun. 2009;1(3):176-80. doi: 10.1159/000203699. Epub 2009 Feb 20.

Neutrophil extracellular traps: a strategic tactic to defeat pathogens with potential consequences for the host.

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  • 1Infection Immunology Research Group, Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, HZI - Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany.


Recent investigations have highlighted new roles for neutrophils in the biology of infection and inflammation. Neutrophils are one of the main players in the innate immune system and actively contribute to host defense by killing pathogens. Added to their ability to eliminate microorganisms by phagocytosis, neutrophils can also kill microbes by capturing them in extracellular structures consisting of granule proteins and DNA called neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). This review summarizes the recent advancements regarding the structure, production and biological relevance of NETs.

Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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