Alterations in rat peripheral blood neutrophil function as a consequence of colitis

Lisa Carter, John L. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Altered peripheral neutrophil function is a feature of IBD that may contribute to the chronicity and extragastrointestinal manifestations of this disease, but clinical evidence for such alterations is confounded by variations in patient characteristics, disease onset, and use of therapeutics that can influence neutrophil function. The use of a rat model of colitis has permitted us to characterize, in a controlled manner, the causal relationship between colitis and altered peripheral neutrophil function. At various times after induction of colitis with trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS), peripheral neutrophils were isolated and assays of phagocytosis, chemotaxis, leukotriene B4 (LTB4) synthesis, and superoxide production were performed using a variety of stimuli. Circulating neutrophil numbers increased about fourfold within 12 hr of TNBS administration and returned to normal levels over the following two weeks. LTB4 synthesis in response to calcium ionophore decreased at 12 hr after induction of colitis, then returned to control levels. The chemotactic responses of peripheral neutrophils to LTB4 and FMLP in vitro and to LTB4 and IL-8 in vivo were profoundly suppressed through the two-week study period. Phagocytosis of nitroblue tetrazolium was significantly enhanced (ca. threefold) at 12 hr after induction of colitis and remained elevated throughout the study period. Superoxide production was also significantly elevated in the early phase of colitis (by ca. fourfold), but was not different from control levels at seven and 14 days. These results demonstrate that colonic inflammation profoundly influences peripheral blood neutrophil function, although the direction and magnitude of the alteration varied among the various functions assessed. The prolonged depression of chemotactic activity may represent a physiological reaction to limit the inflammatory response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-197
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan. 1995


  • chemotaxis
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • leukotriene B
  • neutrophils
  • phagocytosis
  • superoxide


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