The accumulation of neutrophils during inflammation is essential for the destruction and removal of invading microorganisms. However, for resolution of inflammation to occur, neutrophils must also be removed from the inflammatory site since these cells are capable of releasing tissue toxic molecules. Neutrophil removal has been shown to occur via apoptosis and phagocyte clearance of apoptotic cells. Therefore, manipulation of these processes is likely to be a key therapeutic strategy in the management of inflammatory disease. In this review, we examine mediators of neutrophil survival and apoptosis and the signalling pathways that regulate the balance between life and death in these cells.
Keywords: inflammation, macrophages, fibroblasts, phagocytosis, caspases, bcl family proteins, calpains, p kinase
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