Extracellular traps: An ancient weapon of multiple kingdoms

Ariane Neumann, Graham Brogden, Maren von Köckritz-Blickwede

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (SciVal)


The discovery, in 2004, of extracellular traps released by neutrophils has extended our understanding of the mode of action of various innate immune cells. This fascinating discovery demonstrated the extracellular trapping and killing of various pathogens by neutrophils. During the last decade, evidence has accumulated showing that extracellular traps play a crucial role in the defence mechanisms of various cell types present in vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. The aim of this review is to summarise the relevant literature on the evolutionary history of extracellular traps used as a weapon in various kingdoms of life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Immunology in the medical area


  • Conserved mechanisms
  • Defence mechanism
  • Innate immunity
  • Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs)
  • Tree of life


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