Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in autoimmune diseases: A comprehensive review

Keum Hwa Lee, Andreas Kronbichler, David Duck Young Park, Young Min Park, Hanwool Moon, Hyungdo Kim, Jun Hyug Choi, Young Seo Choi, Songjoo Shim, Il Suk Lyu, Byung Hwan Yun, Yeonseung Han, Donghee Lee, Sang Yoon Lee, Byung Hun Yoo, Kyung Hwan Lee, Tai Lim Kim, Heonki Kim, Joo Sung Shim, Wonseok NamHeesung So, Soo Yeon Choi, Sangmok Lee, Jae Il Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

268 Citations (Scopus)


Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are fibrous networks which protrude from the membranes of activated neutrophils. NETs are found in a variety of conditions such as infection, malignancy, atherosclerosis, and autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV), psoriasis, and gout. Studies suggest that an imbalance between “NETosis,” which is a process by which NETs are formed, and NET degradation may be associated with autoimmune diseases. Neutrophils, interleukin-8, ANCA and other inflammatory molecules are considered to play a key role in NET formation. Prolonged exposure to NETs-related cascades is associated with autoimmunity and increases the chance of systemic organ damage. In this review, we discuss the roles of various inflammatory molecules in relation to NETs. We also describe the role of NETs in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and discuss the possibility of using targeted therapies directed to NETs and associated molecules to treat autoimmune diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1160-1173
Number of pages14
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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