Neutrophils exert potent antimicrobial activities in their role as first-line cellular defenders against infection. The synergistic and collective actions of oxidants and granule proteins, including serine proteases, support the microbial killing in phagosomes, where most neutrophil-mediated antimicrobial action occurs. In addition to phagocytosis, specific stimuli prompt neutrophils to extrude a matrix of DNA, histones, and granule proteins to produce neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), which can trap microbes. Mice lacking the serine proteases necessary for NET production are more susceptible to infection, an observation suggesting that functional NETs are required for host protection. In this issue of the
William M. Nauseef
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