Influence of neutrophil depletion on myocardial function and flow after reversible ischemia

P. G. O'Neill, M. L. Charlat, L. H. Michael, R. Roberts, R. Bolli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We explored the role of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) in the genesis of contractile dysfunction (myocardial 'stunning') and of vascular abnormalities after reversible ischemia. Open-chest dogs underwent a 15-min coronary occlusion and 4 h of reperfusion (REP); treated animals (n = 16) received intravenous goat antiserum against canine PMN, whereas controls received nonimmune goat serum (n = 10) or saline (n = 15). In treated dogs, the average blood PMN levels were 10% of those in saline controls. During ischemia, collateral flow tended to be higher, and paradoxical systolic wall thinning tended to be less in neutropenic dogs, but despite this, recovery of wall thickening after REP was not enhanced in these animals. Similarly, arrhythmias during ischemia or REP did not differ among the three groups. Four hours after REP, both resting and minimal coronary resistance (the latter assessed by adenosine infusion) were higher in the stunned compared with the nonischemic myocardium; these vascular derangements, however, were similar in all three groups. Thus profound neutropenia failed to attenuate mechanical dysfunction, to reduce arrhythmias, and to prevent vascular abnormalities after a 15-min coronary occlusion. Although previous studies have suggested that neutrophils mediate cell death during prolonged ischemia, the present findings suggest that PMN do not contribute importantly to the damage associated with brief, reversible ischemia. The duration of flow reduction may be a critical factor determining whether PMN exacerbate ischemic injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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