Neutrophils are essential for host defence against invading pathogens. They engulf and degrade microorganisms using an array of weapons that include reactive oxygen species, antimicrobial peptides, and proteases such as cathepsin G, neutrophil elastase and proteinase 3. As discussed in this Review, the generation of mice deficient in these proteases has established a role for these enzymes as intracellular microbicidal agents. However, I focus mainly on emerging data indicating that, after release, these proteases also contribute to the extracellular killing of microorganisms, and regulate non-infectious inflammatory processes by activating specific receptors and modulating the levels of cytokines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-550
Number of pages10
JournalNature Reviews Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Neutrophil serine proteases: Specific regulators of inflammation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this