Inhibition of neutrophil chemotaxis and activation following decentralization of the superior cervical ganglia

L. Carter, J. K. Ferrari, J. S. Davison, D. Befus

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have shown that bilateral decentralization (sympathectomy) of the superior cervical ganglia (SCG) of rats sensitized to the parasite Nippostrongylus brasiliensis attenuated the development of pulmonary inflammation following allergen challenge. Sympathectomy inhibited total leukocyte infiltration into lung lavage fluids, particularly neutrophil infiltration. To define the effects of decentralization of the SCG on neutrophil responses, peripheral blood neutrophils of rats were isolated and tested in in vitro chemotaxis and phagocytosis assays. Neutrophils from rats that were sympathectomized 7 days previously displayed a marked reduction in chemotaxis to N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine and leukotriene B4 compared to neutrophils from sham-operated or unoperated groups. Although the degree of chemotaxis was greater in blood neutrophils from parasite-infected rats than from uninfected rats, sympathectomy markedly reduced the chemotactic responses of both groups. In addition, neutrophils of sympathectomized rats were unresponsive to lipopolysaccharide-induced metabolic activation as assessed by in vitro phagocytosis and oxidative reduction of nitroblue tetrazolium. Thus, decentralization of the SCG of rats affects the chemotactic responses and functions of neutrophils. Understanding the role of the sympathetic nervous system in modulating the behavior of neutrophils will shed light on the interactions between the nervous and immune systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-602
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • neutrophil dysfunction
  • neutrophil migration
  • nitroblue tetrazolium assay
  • surgical sympathectomy


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