The infiltration of an organ or tissue by neutrophils is the hallmark of acute inflammation. Recent work from many laboratories suggests that neutrophils may play a role in the development of tissue injury in a variety of disease states in the gastrointestinal tract. These diseases include gastritis, necrotizing enterocolitis, ileitis, ulcerative colitis, and ischemia reperfusion injuries. In view of this recent interest in the neutrophil and its relationship to GI diseases, it seems timely to review what is known about neutrophil recruitment to the gastrointestinal tract. This review will therefore focus on the sojourn of the neutrophil from the circulation to its destination in the GI tract.
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