Neutrophils come of age in chronic inflammation
Neutrophils have long been known to participate in acute inflammation, but a role in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases is now emerging. These cells are key players in the recognition and elimination of pathogens, but they also sense self components, including nucleic acids and products of sterile tissue damage. While this normally contributes to tissue repair, it can also lead to the release of highly immunogenic products that can trigger and/or amplify autoimmune pathogenic loops. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie neutrophil activation, migration, survival and their various forms of death in health and disease might provide us with new approaches to treat chronic inflammatory conditions.