Data_Sheet_1_Aggregated NETs Sequester and Detoxify Extracellular Histones.pdf

In response to various infectious and sterile stimuli neutrophils release chromatin decorated with bactericidal proteins, referred to as NETs. Their scaffolds are formed from chromatin fibers which display an apparent diameter of 15–17 nm and mainly consist from DNA (2 nm) and DNA-associated histones (11 nm). The NET-forming strands are thus not naked DNA but higher ordered chromatin structures. The histones may be released from the NET, especially if their tail arginines have been citrullinated. Several studies indicate that extracellular histones are toxic for mammalian epithelia and endothelia and contribute to the microvascular dysfunction observed e.g., in patients suffering from autoimmune diseases or sepsis. NETs formed at sites of very high neutrophil densities tend to clump and form fairly stable enzymatically active aggregates, referred to as aggNETs. The latter are endowed with a bunch of enzymes that cleave, bind, and/or modify autologous as well as foreign macromolecules. The tight binding of the serine proteases to the matrix precludes the spread of these toxic enzymes into the tissue but still allows the access of soluble inflammatory mediators to the enzymatic active internal surfaces of the NETs where they are degraded. Here, we describe that externally added histones are removed from culture supernatants of aggNETs. We will address the fate of the histones and discuss the feature on the background of neutrophil-driven diseases and the resolution of inflammation.