Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) represent a distinct strategy by which neutrophils trap, confine and eliminate invading microorganisms. Emerging evidence suggests that NETs exert a deleterious effect to the host in the absence of microbial stimuli. However, the role of NETs in smoking-related lung diseases remains to be elucidated.Objectives
To evaluate the formation of NETs in the context of chronic inflammation induced by cigarette smoking and explore its potential role in an experimental mouse model of emphysema.Methods
The formation and degradation of NETs in cigarette smoke exposed mice was assessed with a fluorescence microscope. The potential influences of NETs on plasmacytoiddendritic cells were also investigated.Results
NETs were more prone to formation by polymorphonuclearneutrophils but defective in degradation in cigarette smoke exposed mice. Cigarette smoke extract (CSE) served as an important facilitator that triggered neutrophils to undergo NETosis in vitro. Furthermore, CSE-induced NETs were capable of driving plasmacytoiddendritic cell maturation and activation, thereby initiating a T-cell-mediated immune response.Conclusions
NETs may represent a critical connection between innate and adaptive immune responses under conditions of chronic inflammation induced by cigarette smoke exposure.