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Role of neutrophils in systemic autoimmune diseases

Mariana J Kaplan

Author Affiliations

Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, 5520 MSRBI, 1150 W. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-560, USA

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15:219  doi:10.1186/ar4325

Published: 2 October 2013


Neutrophils have emerged as important regulators of innate and adaptive immune responses. Recent evidence indicates that neutrophils display marked abnormalities in phenotype and function in various systemic autoimmune diseases, and may play a central role in initiation and perpetuation of aberrant immune responses and organ damage in these conditions. This review discusses the putative roles that neutrophils and aberrant neutrophil cell death play in the pathogenesis of various systemic autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus, small vessel vasculitis and rheumatoid arthritis.