Metabolic Plasticity of Neutrophils: Relevance to Pathogen Responses and Cancer

Thomas Rogers, Ralph J. DeBerardinis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Neutrophils, the most abundant leukocyte population in humans, constantly patrol the body for foreign cells, including pathogens and cancer cells. Once neutrophils are activated, they engage distinct metabolic pathways to fulfill their specialized antipathogen functions. In this review, we examine current research on the metabolism of neutrophil differentiation and antipathogen responses. We also discuss how tumor-associated neutrophils (TANs) can be educated by cytokines and by the nutrient-restrictive milieu of the tumor microenvironment (TME) to suppress antitumor immunity, promote cancer progression, and contribute to biological heterogeneity among tumors. Last, we discuss the clinical implications of circulating neutrophils and infiltrating TANs and consider how targeting TAN metabolism may synergize with cancer immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-713
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Cancer
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • immunotherapy
  • metabolism
  • metastasis
  • neutrophils
  • tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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