Research report 2018 - Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology

Neutrophils: Between cell division and cell death

Arturo Zychlinsky, Abteilung Zelluläre Mikrobiologie, Max-Planck-Institut für Infektionsbiologie
Max-Planck-Institut für Infektionsbiologie, Berlin
Organisms are confronted with a multitude of pathogens on a daily basis. Hence, in the course of evolution, the immune system developed many sophisticated defense mechanisms. In 2004, our team described a previously unknown mechanism: neutrophils, which are quite abundant immune cells, are able to trap harmful microorganisms in nets. Interestingly, these nets are not just built of the same components as the genetic material, but also, their formation follows steps which otherwise only take place during cell division.

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