Example of Defective Neutrophils

Lab Note #12
Apr 21, 2014

Neutrophils from a patient with severe burn injury display several defects during migration.  Some  neutrophils are slower, some have difficulties moving around obstacles (posts) in their path, and at lest one turns back to the starting location.  One neutrophil even ends up turning in circles around the island in the middle of the frame.  It is like driving around a rotary unable to decide which exit to take.  Neutrophils move towards a chemoattractant (fMLP that is at higher concentration in a reservoir at the end of the channels, to the right - not shown). If these neutrophils were to respond to some microbes invading through the wounded skin, they would be rather ineffective in containing that infection.  This is precisely what happens in many patients with burn injuries.  Half of these patients develop sepsis while in the hospital and one element favoring this severe complication are the defective neutrophils. 
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