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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2013 Jul;49(1):1-5. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2012-0472TR.

Neutrophil intercellular communication in acute lung injury. Emerging roles of microparticles and gap junctions.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


A hallmark of acute inflammation involves the recruitment of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (neutrophils) to infected or injured tissues. The processes underlying this recruitment are complex, and include multiple mechanisms of intercellular communication between neutrophils and the inflamed tissue. In recent studies of the systemic and pulmonary vasculature, interest has increased in novel forms of intercellular communication, such as microparticle exchange and gap junctional intercellular communication. To understand the roles of these novel forms of communication in the onset, progression, and resolution of inflammatory lung injury (such as acute respiratory distress syndrome), we review the literature concerning the contributions of microparticle exchange and gap junctional intercellular communication to neutrophil-alveolar crosstalk during pulmonary inflammation. By focusing on these cell-cell communications, we aim to demonstrate significant gaps of knowledge and identify areas of considerable need for further investigations of the processes of acute lung inflammation.

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