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Research Article

Polymorphonuclear leukocyte functions enhanced by chemotaxis.


Human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) migrate into tissues in response to chemoattractants, yet it is not known whether this process alters the functional capabilities of the PMN. Using recombinant human interleukin-8 (rHIL-8, 100 ng/ml) as a stimulus, we compared a population of PMN that migrated through a polyvinylpyrrolidone-coated polycarbonate filter containing 8.0 microns diameter pores with PMN stimulated in suspension. PMN were analyzed by flow cytometry according to functional and phenotypic criteria. CD11b/CD16 expression was unaltered by chemotaxis. In contrast, chemotaxis enhanced phagocytosis of E. coli, independent of opsonization with IgG. Similarly, chemotaxis increased baseline hydrogen peroxide production. We conclude that the chemotactic motion of PMN "primes" the cell for increased oxidative burst activity and augments the ability of PMN to ingest bacteria. This increased functional capability is distinct from rHIL-8 stimulation and appears to be independent of complement-and Fc-receptor expression.