Homeostatic regulation of blood neutrophil counts

Sibylle Von Vietinghoff, Klaus Ley

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

226 Scopus citations


Blood neutrophil counts are determined by the differentiation and proliferation of precursor cells, the release of mature neutrophils from the bone marrow, margination, trafficking and transmigration through the endothelial lining, neutrophil apoptosis, and uptake by phagocytes. This brief review summarizes the regulation of blood neutrophil counts, which is in part controlled by G-CSF, IL-17, and IL-23. Neutrophils are retained in the bone marrow through interaction of CXCL12 with its receptor CXCR4. The relevance of this mechanism is illustrated by rare diseases in which disrupting the desensitization of CXCR4 results in failure to release mature neutrophils from bone marrow. Although blood neutrophil numbers in inbred mouse strains and individual human subjects are tightly controlled, their large variation among outbred populations suggests genetic factors. One example is benign ethnic neutropenia, which is found in some African Americans. Reduced and elevated neutrophil counts, even within the normal range, are associated with excess all-cause mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5183-5188
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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