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New barometer for inflammatory disease

A unique discovery about the nature of neutrophils may lead to new models for diagnosing and tracking inflammatory diseases such as cancer and osteoarthritis. 

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Neutrophils are a class of leukocyte immune cell in the “innate” immune system, which deals with acute infections. Billions of neutrophils are born in the bone’s marrow each day to protect the body and attack microbial invaders.

Michael Glogauer, one of the study authors, said: “The general consensus in the past was that there is one kind of neutrophil in circulation in healthy people.

“We found two distinct neutrophil states in blood, and these populations vary depending on the health of patient and if there are acute or chronic infections.”

The team discovered this unique subset of immune cells after developing a novel method of preserving and analysing neutrophils in blood.  

Image credit | Science Photo Library 

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