Findings: Neutrophils Exist In The Spleen

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The human body is always capable of getting rid of or avoiding the onset of infection through its normal protective mechanisms. The leukocytes in the blood have been very useful in fighting infectious microorganisms. A new discovery has been found out about one of its important components—neutrophils. According to the research team on the Biology B Cells of IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute) in cooperation with researchers from Mount Sinai in New York, neutrophils are actually present in the spleen even if infection is absent. They have found that these neutrophils may play a role in immunoregulation.

Neutrophils are the first cells that migrate to an area where infection and inflammation are detected; they attack these pathogens so they are known to be “cleaning cells”. Scientific literature had always deemed neutrophils fundamentally as under qualified defense forces which can only limit the spread of infection, until now.  Neutrophils’ role is just considered an initial action that can lead other cells of the immune system which are ultimately acting to eliminate the infection for good.

Andrea Cerutti, the coordinator of the research team on the Biology of B Cells of IMIM, a professor at ICREA and the last signatory of the article, elaborated that their study illustrated that neutrophils exist in the spleen though infection is not present, that can further helping in establishing new knowledge in the field of biology.

Furthermore, the investigators observed that the neutrophils’ presence in the spleen began upon the development of the fetus, even if there is no infection. This was not presented in scientific studies before. This research encompassed people of various ages and other mammals. The discovery of neutrophils’ existence in the spleen can imply that these have a unique role in the spleen. Morever, the neutrophils in the spleen can be found surrounding B Lymphocytes to aid their activation, as well as take the initial and fast response to pathogen’s presence. Irene Puga, researcher of the IMIM and a signatory of this article, articulated that the neutrophils in the spleen gain the capacity to act together with B cells of B lymphocytes which can induce the antibodies’ production; this is a role that lymphocytes in the blood cannot do. This finding was based on various experimental methods they have performed.

This study result provides more light to understand the mechanisms in which the immune system gives protection against infection. This is very important requisite in dealing and controlling all related pathologies. Additionally, in dealing with certain diseases like neutropenia (decreased neutrophil levels) it is imperative for us to determine not only the deficiency of neutrophils, but the mechanism of how this influences the antibody production. Indeed, this study can pave the way to more effective and new treatment options against different pathogens. The development of vaccines to augment the neutrophils’ ability in the spleen may be an example, which can eventually affect the antibody production by B lymphocytes. This research can lay the foundation for further studies about the neutrophils’ important role in our body.





  1. Gary Olson says:

    As an asplenic patient how does this discovery relate to Overwhelming Post Splenectomy Infection,and interventions when it does occurr in the asplenic patient? Does this increase the chances of hospital aquired infections in asplenic patients,especially with S Areus?

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