Neutrophils are key players in the host innate immune response. They are recruited to sites of infection and constitute the first line of defense.
Neutrophils employ 3 strategies to eliminate invading microbes:
- microbial uptake
- secretion of antimicrobials
- release of Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) - NETs consist of DNA and proteins released by neutrophils as they die
NETs are composed of decondensed chromatin and antimicrobial proteins that bind and kill a variety of microbes.
NETs incorporate histones into the antimicrobial arsenal and their role in innate immunity is only now being uncovered.
NETs in Alcamo's Fundamentals of Microbiology: Body Systems By Jeffrey C. Pommerville:
NETs in Roitt's essential immunology By Peter J. Delves, Ivan Maurice Roitt:
NETs: a new strategy for using old weapons. Venizelos Papayannopoulos and Arturo Zychlinsky. Trends in Immunology, 21 August 2009.
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