The real Webs of Science – Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs): a new paradigm in innate immunity

The discovery in 2005 that neutrophils catapult their entire nuclear chromatin into the local environment, as a final dying act, led to the dramatic emergence of a new paradigm in innate immunity – “neutrophil extracellular traps” (NETs). At the forefront of this new field of neutrophil biology was the Birmingham periodontal research group, who just last year published the release mechanism for NETs, in contradiction to previous literature. In this year’s Graham Embery Lecture, Iain Chapple will share the experiences of the Birmingham team and the challenges of working with these fascinating structures. He will argue that they may be equally as damaging to susceptible hosts as they are protective against infection, due to autoimmune mechanisms, which may even provide a causal mechanism for periodontitis as a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis. He will also describe a novel method for measuring neutrophil chemotactic accuracy and reveal for the first time, data that may well explain how neutrophil-mediated tissue damage arises in periodontal tissue destruction.

BSODR thanks Unilever for their generous sponsorship of this lecture.

31 May 2013