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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Neutrophil extracellular traps - the dark side of neutrophils

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  • Ole E Sørensen
  • Niels Borregaard
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Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) were discovered as extracellular strands of decondensed DNA in complex with histones and granule proteins, which were expelled from dying neutrophils to ensnare and kill microbes. NETs are formed during infection in vivo by mechanisms different from those originally described in vitro. Citrullination of histones by peptidyl arginine deiminase 4 (PAD4) is central for NET formation in vivo. NETs may spur formation of autoantibodies and may also serve as scaffolds for thrombosis, thereby providing a link among infection, autoimmunity, and thrombosis. In this review, we present the mechanisms by which NETs are formed and discuss the physiological and pathophysiological consequences of NET formation. We conclude that NETs may be of more importance in autoimmunity and thrombosis than in innate immune defense.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of clinical investigation
Volume126
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1612-20
Number of pages9
ISSN0021-9738
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2016

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, Review

ID: 49632174