Neutrophils are the most abundant type of circulating immune system cell, and they act as the body’s earliest form of defense against infection. We know that neurophils originate in the bone marrow (BM), but scientists haven’t, to date, been able to find a progenitor that only gives rise to this type of white blood cell. Researchers at La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology have now used advanced biomarker analysis and RNA sequencing techniques to identify neutrophil-specific progenitors in the bone marrow of mice and humans, which appear to directly promote tumor growth in mice, and which are found in high numbers in the blood of human cancer patients. 

The team suggests that the findings offer new insights into the biology of neutrophil progenitors, which should help to develop new targets for neutrophil-related disorders, including cancer, and potentially lead to simple diagnostic tests. We found that this particular …