Pathophysiological role of neutrophils in acute myocardial infarction

Federico Carbone, Alessio Nencioni, François Mach, Nicolas Vuilleumier, Fabrizio Montecucco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pathogenesis of acute myocardial infarction is known to be mediated by systemic, intraplaque and myocardial inflammatory processes. Among different immune cell subsets, compelling evidence now indicates a pivotal role for neutrophils in acute coronary syndromes. Neutrophils infiltrate coronary plaques and the infarcted myocardium and mediate tissue damage by releasing matrix-degrading enzymes and reactive oxygen species. In addition, neutrophils are also involved in post-infarction adverse cardiac remodelling and neointima formation after angioplasty. The promising results obtained in preclinical models with pharmacological approaches interfering with neutrophil recruitment or function have confirmed the pathophysiological relevance of these immune cells in acute coronary syndromes and prompted further studies of these therapeutic interventions. This narrative review will provide an update on the role of neutrophils in acute myocardial infarction and on the pharmacological means that were devised to prevent neutrophil-mediated tissue damage and to reduce post-ischaemic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-514
Number of pages14
JournalThrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Inflammation
  • Neutrophils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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