2Institute of Immunology, Federal Medical-Biological Agency, Kashirskoe Shosse 24/2, 115478 Moscow, Russia
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received July 5, 2014
Recent insights into the specific type of cell death characteristic of neutrophils, called NETosis, are summarized. NETosis is a process of generation of Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs), whose main components are DNA, granular antimicrobial peptides, and nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. The structure of NETs determines their bactericidal, fungicidal, antiprotozoal, and antiviral properties. Therefore, NETs production by neutrophils is an essential immune response to infection. In addition to the antimicrobial function, NETosis is involved in many inflammatory and autoimmune disorders and participates in the regulation of noninfectious processes. The molecular mechanisms of NET formation, bactericidal effect, and involvement in some noninfectious, autoimmune, and inflammatory processes are discussed in detail in this review.
KEY WORDS: neutrophils, neutrophil extracellular traps, NETosis, autoimmune diseases, inflammation