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Immunology. 2008 Nov;125(3):281-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2008.02950.x.

Neutrophil mobilization and clearance in the bone marrow.

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Leukocyte Biology Section, National Heart and Lung Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK.


The bone marrow is the site of neutrophil production, a process that is regulated by the cytokine granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). Mature neutrophils are continually released into the circulation, with an estimated 10(11) neutrophils exiting the bone marrow daily under basal conditions. These leucocytes have a short half-life in the blood of approximately 6.5 hr, and are subsequently destroyed in the spleen, liver and indeed the bone marrow itself. Additionally, mature neutrophils are retained in the bone marrow by the stromal cell-derived factor (SDF-1alpha)/chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (CXCR4) chemokine axis and form the bone marrow reserve. Following infection or inflammatory insult, neutrophil release from the bone marrow reserve is substantially elevated and this process is mediated by the co-ordinated actions of cytokines and chemokines. In this review we discuss the factors and molecular mechanisms regulating the neutrophil mobilization and consider the mechanisms and functional significance of neutrophil clearance via the bone marrow.

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