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Immunology. 2004 May;112(1):2-12.

Interferon-gamma activation of polymorphonuclear neutrophil function.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of California School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


As current research illuminates the dynamic interplay between the innate and acquired immune responses, the interaction and communication between these two arms has yet to be fully investigated. Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) are known critical components of innate and acquired immunity, respectively. However, recent studies have demonstrated that these two components are not entirely isolated. Treatment of PMNs with IFN-gamma elicits a variety of responses depending on stimuli and environmental conditions. These responses include increased oxidative burst, differential gene expression, and induction of antigen presentation. Many of these functions have been overlooked in PMNs, which have long been classified as terminal phagocytic cells incapable of protein synthesis. As this review reports, the old definition of the PMN is in need of an update, as these cells have demonstrated their ability to mediate the transition between the innate and acquired immune responses.

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