Neither eosinophils nor neutrophils require ATG5-dependent autophagy for extracellular DNA trap formation.

Germic, Nina; Stojkov, Darko; Oberson, Kevin; Yousefi, Shida; Simon, Hans-Uwe (2017). Neither eosinophils nor neutrophils require ATG5-dependent autophagy for extracellular DNA trap formation. Immunology, 152(3), pp. 517-525. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/imm.12790

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The importance of extracellular traps (ETs) in innate immunity is well established, but the molecular mechanisms responsible for their formation remain unclear and in scientific dispute. ETs have been defined as extracellular DNA scaffolds associated with the granule proteins of eosinophils or neutrophils. They are capable of killing bacteria extracellularly. Based mainly on results with phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors such as 3-methyladenine (3-MA) and wortmannin which are commonly used to inhibit autophagy, several groups have reported that autophagy is required for neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation. We decided to investigate this apparent dependence on autophagy for ET release and generated genetically modified mice that lack, specifically in eosinophils or neutrophils, autophagy-related (Atg) 5, a gene encoding a protein essential for autophagosome formation. Interestingly, neither eosinophils nor neutrophils from Atg5-deficient mice exhibited abnormalities in ET formation upon physiological activation or exposure to low concentrations of PMA, although we could confirm that human and mouse eosinophils and neutrophils, after pre-treatment with inhibitors of class III PI3K, show a block both in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and in ET formation. The so-called late autophagy inhibitors bafilomycin A1 and chloroquine, on the other hand, were without effect. These data indicate that ET formation occurs independently of autophagy and that the inhibition of ROS production and ET formation in the presence of 3-MA and wortmannin is likely owing to their additional ability to block the class I PI3Ks which are involved in signaling cascades initiated by triggers of ET formation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Germic, Nina, Stojkov, Darko, Oberson, Kevin, Yousefi, Shida, Simon, Hans-Uwe


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Jana Berger

Date Deposited:

19 Oct 2017 15:53

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:06

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Autophagy eosinophils extracellular traps (ETs) neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) neutrophils




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