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Int Immunopharmacol. 2010 Nov;10(11):1325-34. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2010.08.012. Epub 2010 Sep 8.

Neutrophils: Cinderella of innate immune system.

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Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Sainte-Justine Hospital, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada.


Neutrophils are the first line of innate immune defense against infectious diseases. However, since their discovery by Elie Metchnikoff, they have always been considered tissue-destructive cells responsible for inflammatory tissue damage occurring during acute infections. Now, extensive research in the field of neutrophil cell biology and their role skewing the immune response in various infections or inflammatory disorders revealed their importance in the regulation of immune response. Along with releasing various antimicrobial molecules, neutrophils also release neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) for the containment of infection and inflammation. Activated neutrophils provide signals for the activation and maturation of macrophages as well as dendritic cells. Neutrophils are also involved in the regulation of T-cell immune response against various pathogens and tumor antigens. Thus, the present review is intended to highlight the emerging role of neutrophils in the regulation of both innate and adaptive immunity during acute infectious or inflammatory conditions.

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