The Tangled Webs That Neutrophils Weave

Science  05 Mar 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5663, pp. 1477-1478
DOI: 10.1126/science.1095484

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The elegant mechanisms deployed by neutrophils to kill bacterial pathogens that they have engulfed by phagocytosis are well documented. In their Perspective, Lee and Grinstein describe a newly discovered tool in the neutrophil bactericidal armamentarium ( Brinkmann et al.). Apparently, neutrophils extrude part of their cellular contents in the form of DNA, histones, and proteases to form extracellular NETs that trap and kill bacterial pathogens without the need for phagocytosis.