Neutrophils and immunity: Challenges and opportunities
Scientists who study neutrophils often have backgrounds in cell biology, biochemistry, haematology, rheumatology or infectious disease. Paradoxically, immunologists seem to have a harder time incorporating these host-defence cells into the framework of their discipline. The recent literature discussed here indicates that it is appropriate for immunologists to take as much interest in neutrophils as in their lymphohaematopoietic cousins with smooth nuclei. Neutrophils inform and shape immune responses, contribute to the repair of tissue as well as its breakdown, use killing mechanisms that enrich our concepts of specificity, and offer exciting opportunities for the treatment of neoplastic, autoinflammatory and autoimmune disorders.