Neutrophil ageing is regulated by the microbiome

Dachuan Zhang, Grace Chen, Deepa Manwani, Arthur Mortha, Chunliang Xu, Jeremiah J. Faith, Robert D. Burk, Yuya Kunisaki, Jung Eun Jang, Christoph Scheiermann, Miriam Merad, Paul S. Frenette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

575 Citations (Scopus)


Blood polymorphonuclear neutrophils provide immune protection against pathogens, but may also promote tissue injury in inflammatory diseases. Although neutrophils are generally considered to be a relatively homogeneous population, evidence for heterogeneity is emerging. Under steady-state conditions, neutrophil heterogeneity may arise from ageing and replenishment by newly released neutrophils from the bone marrow. Aged neutrophils upregulate CXCR4, a receptor allowing their clearance in the bone marrow, with feedback inhibition of neutrophil production via the IL-17/G-CSF axis, and rhythmic modulation of the haematopoietic stem-cell niche. The aged subset also expresses low levels of L-selectin. Previous studies have suggested that in vitro-aged neutrophils exhibit impaired migration and reduced pro-inflammatory properties. Here, using in vivo ageing analyses in mice, we show that neutrophil pro-inflammatory activity correlates positively with their ageing whilst in circulation. Aged neutrophils represent an overly active subset exhibiting enhanced α M β 2 integrin activation and neutrophil extracellular trap formation under inflammatory conditions. Neutrophil ageing is driven by the microbiota via Toll-like receptor and myeloid differentiation factor 88-mediated signalling pathways. Depletion of the microbiota significantly reduces the number of circulating aged neutrophils and dramatically improves the pathogenesis and inflammation-related organ damage in models of sickle-cell disease or endotoxin-induced septic shock. These results identify a role for the microbiota in regulating a disease-promoting neutrophil subset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-532
Number of pages5
Issue number7570
Publication statusPublished - Sept 24 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Neutrophil ageing is regulated by the microbiome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this