Send to

Choose Destination
Semin Immunopathol. 2013 Jul;35(4):377-94. doi: 10.1007/s00281-013-0374-8. Epub 2013 Apr 4.

Neutrophils in innate and adaptive immunity.

Author information

Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, via Manzoni 56, 20089 Rozzano, Milan, Italy.


Neutrophils have long been viewed as short-lived cells crucial for the elimination of extracellular pathogens, possessing a limited role in the orchestration of the immune response. This dogma has been challenged by recent lines of evidence demonstrating the expression of an increasing number of cytokines and effector molecules by neutrophils. Moreover, in analogy with their "big brother" macrophages, neutrophils integrate the environmental signals and can be polarized towards an antitumoural or protumoural phenotype. Neutrophils are a major source of humoral fluid phase pattern recognition molecules and thus contribute to the humoral arm of innate immunity. Neutrophils cross talk and shape the maturation and effector functions of other leukocytes in a direct or indirect manner, through cell-cell contact or cytokine production, respectively. Therefore, neutrophils are integrated in the activation and regulation of the innate and adaptive immune system and play an important role in the resolution or exacerbation of diverse pathologies, including infections, chronic inflammation, autoimmunity and cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center