Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) are a newly discovered weapon in the neutrophil armamentarium

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:



References:
NETs: a new strategy for using old weapons. Venizelos Papayannopoulos and Arturo Zychlinsky. Trends in Immunology, 21 August 2009.
Image source: Wikipedia, free GNU license.

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