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Review Article

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2020; 24(1): 1-10

Published online January 1, 2020

Copyright © Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.

Autophagy in neutrophils

Sanjeeb Shrestha1, Jae Man Lee2,*, and Chang-Won Hong1,*

Departments of 1Physiology and 2Biochemistry and Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41944, Korea

Correspondence to:*Jae Man Lee
*Chang-Won Hong

Received: October 28, 2019; Revised: November 25, 2019; Accepted: November 27, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Autophagy is a highly conserved intracellular degradation and energyrecycling mechanism that contributes to the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Extensive researches over the past decades have defined the role of autophagy innate immune cells. In this review, we describe the current state of knowledge regarding the role of autophagy in neutrophil biology and a picture of molecular mechanism underlying autophagy in neutrophils. Neutrophils are professional phagocytes that comprise the first line of defense against pathogen. Autophagy machineries are highly conserved in neutrophils. Autophagy is not only involved in generalized function of neutrophils such as differentiation in bone marrow but also plays crucial role effector functions of neutrophils such as granule formation, degranulation, neutrophil extracellular traps release, cytokine production, bactericidal activity and controlling inflammation. This review outlines the current understanding of autophagy in neutrophils and provides insight towards identification of novel therapeutics targeting autophagy in neutrophils.

Keywords: Autophagy, Bactericidal activity, Neutrophil, Neutrophil extracellular trap