The counter-intuitive role of the neutrophil in the acute respiratory distress syndrome.
British Medical Bulletin
Oxford University Press
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Vassallo, A., Wood, A. J., Subburayalu, J., Summers, C., & Chilvers, E. (2019). The counter-intuitive role of the neutrophil in the acute respiratory distress syndrome.. British Medical Bulletin, 131 (1), 43-55. https://doi.org/10.1093/bmb/ldz024
INTRODUCTION: Neutrophils are the primary effectors of the innate immune system but are profoundly histotoxic cells. The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is considered to be a prime example of neutrophil-mediated tissue injury. SOURCES OF DATA: The information presented in this review is acquired from the published neutrophil cell biology literature and the longstanding interest of the senior authors in ARDS pathogenesis and clinical management. AREAS OF AGREEMENT: Investigators in the field would agree that neutrophils accumulate in high abundance in the pulmonary microcirculation, lung interstitium and alveolar airspace of patients with ARDS. ARDS is also associated with systemic neutrophil priming and delayed neutrophil apoptosis and clearance of neutrophils from the lungs. In animal models, reducing circulating neutrophil numbers ameliorates lung injury. AREAS OF CONTROVERSY: Areas of uncertainty include how neutrophils get stuck in the narrow pulmonary capillary network-whether this reflects changes in the mechanical properties of primed neutrophils alone or additional cell adhesion molecules, the role of neutrophil sub-sets or polarization states including pro-angiogenic and low-density neutrophils, whether neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation is beneficial (through bacterial capture) or harmful and the potential for neutrophils to participate in inflammatory resolution. The latter may involve the generation of specialized pro-resolving molecules (SPMs) and MMP-9, which is required for adequate matrix processing. GROWING POINTS: Different and possibly stable endotypes of ARDS are increasingly being recognized, yet the relative contribution of the neutrophil to these endotypes is uncertain. There is renewed and intense interest in understanding the complex 'new biology' of the neutrophil, specifically whether this cell might be a valid therapeutic target in ARDS and other neutrophil-driven diseases and developing understanding of ways to enhance the beneficial role of the neutrophil in the resolution phase of ARDS. AREAS TIMELY FOR DEVELOPING RESEARCH: Aside from treatment of the precipitating causes of ARDS, and scrupulous fluid, infection and ventilation management, there are no pharmacological interventions for ARDS; this represents an urgent and unmet need. Therapies aimed at reducing overall neutrophil numbers risk secondary infection; hence better ways are needed to reverse the processes of neutrophil priming activation, hyper-secretion and delayed apoptosis while enhancing the pro-resolution functions of the neutrophil.
ARDS, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Innate immunity, Lung injury, Neutrophils, PMNs
The research in the authors laboratories is funded by the MRC, British Lung Foundation, Wellcome Trust, NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Gates-Cambridge Scholarship Programme, Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholarship Programme, Cancer Research UK, Wolfson Foundation and non-commercial grants from MedImmune, Bristol Myer Squibs and GlaxoSmithKline.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/bmb/ldz024
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/300385
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