Neutrophils play a key role in the development of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS). Since the lungs are the main target in these syndromes, with adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) as the outcome, extensive research has been undertaken to prevent or mitigate ARDS. As evidence of the involvement of neutrophils in ARDS has accumulated, modulation of their function has become a major goal in terms of a therapeutic approach. In this short review, we sought to update our knowledge about neutrophils. Firstly, we summarized the various stimuli which activate neutrophils. Secondly, we described the different mediators, including cytokines, which are released by neutrophils. Lastly, we discussed the possible modulation of their function. Although we cannot assess the clinical usefulness of biochemical substances merely on the basis of their in vitro effects, understanding these mechanisms is fundamental to the success of the new therapeutic approach which is currently under way.
ASJC Scopus subject areas