It is perfectly clear that the principal function of neutrophils is to kill bacteria. However, the enzymes they contain are capable of killing and breaking down all living tissue, and under some circumstances, neutrophils are responsible for considerable damage to the host. In bacterial infections, this damage is usually expressed by abscess formation. There is also a series of responses and conditions that are not primarily infective in origin, but in which for one reason or another neutrophil enzymes are let loose in tissue and damage or destroy it. The series includes serum sickness, the Arthus reaction, and the Shwartzmann reaction, and such clinical conditions as gout, probably rheumatoid arthritis, and several types of glomerulonephritis.
KeywordsGlomerular Basement Membrane Enzyme Release Nitrogen Mustard Serum Sickness Azurophil Granule
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