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Nakazawa, Daigo; Kumar, Santhosh V.; Desai, Jyaysi; Anders, Hans-Joachim (2017): Neutrophil extracellular traps in tissue pathology. In: Histology and Histopathology, Vol. 32, No. 3: pp. 203-213
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Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are innate immune systems against invading pathogens. NETs are characterized as released DNA mixed with cytoplasmic antimicrobial proteins such as myeloperoxidase, proteinase3 and neutrophil elastase. While NETs are thought to have an important role in host defense, recent work has suggested that NETs contribute to tissue injury in non-infectious disease states. Uncontrolled NET formation in autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders, cancers and thrombotic diseases can exacerbate a disease or even be a major initiator of tissue injury. But spotting NETs in tissues is not easy. Here we review the available histopathological evidence on the presence of NETs in a variety of diseases. We discuss technical difficulties and potential sources of misinterpretation while trying to detect NETs in tissue samples.