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Annu Rev Immunol. 2012;30:459-89. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-020711-074942. Epub 2012 Jan 3.

Neutrophil function: from mechanisms to disease.

Author information

1
Department of Cellular Microbiology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Charit├ęplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany. amulic@mpiib-berlin.mpg.de

Abstract

Neutrophils are the most abundant white blood cells in circulation, and patients with congenital neutrophil deficiencies suffer from severe infections that are often fatal, underscoring the importance of these cells in immune defense. In spite of neutrophils' relevance in immunity, research on these cells has been hampered by their experimentally intractable nature. Here, we present a survey of basic neutrophil biology, with an emphasis on examples that highlight the function of neutrophils not only as professional killers, but also as instructors of the immune system in the context of infection and inflammatory disease. We focus on emerging issues in the field of neutrophil biology, address questions in this area that remain unanswered, and critically examine the experimental basis for common assumptions found in neutrophil literature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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