Nicotine induces neutrophil extracellular traps

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Publication Date


Document Type



Biochemistry | Cell Biology | Enzymes and Coenzymes | Medicinal-Pharmaceutical Chemistry


NETs serve to ensnare and kill microbial pathogens. However, NETs can at the same time contribute to tissue damage and excessive inflammation. Nicotine is a major toxic agent and has been associated with exacerbated inflammatory diseases. The current study aimed at investigating the role of nicotine, the addictive component of tobacco and electronic cigarettes, on triggering NET formation. We report that nicotine induces neutrophils to release NETs in a dose-dependent manner. Nicotine-induced NET formation is mediated via nicotine acetylcholine receptors, depends on Akt and PAD4 activation, but is Nox2-independent, as demonstrated by pharmacological inhibition of Nox2 and by use of Nox2-deficient mouse neutrophils. These findings demonstrate that nicotine induces NETs, which may in turn contribute to smoking-related diseases.


neutrophil extracellular traps, NETs

DOI of Published Version



J Leukoc Biol. 2016 Nov;100(5):1105-1112. Epub 2016 Jun 16. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of leukocyte biology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID