Neutrophil transendothelial migration: updates and new perspectives

Marie-Dominique Filippi


Neutrophils represent the first line of cellular defense against invading microorganism by rapidly moving across the blood endothelial cell barrier and exerting effector cell functions. The neutrophil recruitment cascade to inflamed tissues involves elements of neutrophil rolling, firm adhesion and crawling onto the endothelial cell surface before extravasating by breaching the endothelial cell barrier. Neutrophil interactions with endothelial cell s occur via various adhesive modules and is a critical event to determine the mode of neutrophil transmigration, either at the endothelial cell junction ('paracellular') or directly through the EC body ('transcellular'). Once thought to be a homogenous entity, new evidence clearly points to the plasticity of neutrophil functions. This review will focus on recent advances in our understanding of the mechanism of the neutrophil transmigration process. It will discuss how the neutrophil- endothelial cell interactions and subsequent mode of diapedesis, junctional or non-junctional, can be context-dependent and how this plasticity may be exploited clinically.

  • Submitted December 6, 2018.
  • Accepted March 14, 2019.