Thorax 64:81-88 doi:10.1136/thx.2007.082388
  • Review

Neutrophils in cystic fibrosis

  1. D G Downey1,2,
  2. S C Bell2,3,
  3. J S Elborn4
  1. 1
    Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol, UK
  2. 2
    Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre, The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, Australia
  3. 3
    Department of Medicine, University of Queensland, Australia
  4. 4
    Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  1. Dr D Downey, Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol BS2 8HW, UK; damian.downey{at}
  • Received 5 April 2007
  • Accepted 13 May 2007


Lung injury in cystic fibrosis is caused by recurrent airway infection and inflammation. Neutrophils are important in combating these infections but are also the predominate cells involved in the inflammatory process. This review of neutrophils in cystic fibrosis describes the cellular mechanisms involved in their migration into the airways and their role in bacterial phagocytosis. We discuss the inflammatory process and its resolution and ultimately how neutrophil function can be modulated.


  • Competing interests: None.