Quantification of neutrophil migration following myocardial ischemia and reperfusion in cats and dogs

K. H. Albertine, A. S. Weyrich, X. L. Ma, D. J. Lefer, L. C. Becker, A. M. Lefer

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49 Scopus citations


Endothelial cell dysfunction and cardiac myocyte injury resulting from ischemia and reperfusion have been associated with accumulation of neutrophils in the myocardium. To determine whether the accumulation is related primarily to intravascular sequestration or extravascular infiltration of neutrophils during the early period of reperfusion, we morphometrically quantified the tissue distribution of neutrophils in cats and dogs. At the end of the reperfusion period, the base of the heart was cross-clamped to preserve neutrophil location at the moment of death. Point-counting methods were used to determine the distribution of neutrophils inside and outside coronary arterioles and venules (≤100 μm in diameter) as well as coronary capillaries 5-10 μm in diameter in 0.5-μm-thick, plastic-embedded sections. Ischemia-reperfusion resulted in a threefold increase in neutrophil number in the lumen of arterioles and venules at 60 min of reperfusion and up to a sevenfold increase at 270 min of reperfusion (P <.05) compared to time-matched control nonischemic hearts. The ratio of intravascular neutrophils in venules to arterioles was 2:1. Intracapillary neutrophils increased, but not significantly, at 60 min of reperfusion. At 270 min of reperfusion, intracapillary neutrophils increased 11-fold (P <.05). The percentage of total neutrophils that accumulated outside arterioles and venules in cat hearts was 8% at 60 min of reperfusion (not significant, NS) and 28% at 270 min of reperfusion (P <.05). In dog hearts, the percentages were 26% (NS) and 44% (P <.05), respectively. The percentage of total neutrophils that accumulated outside capillaries was <6% in both cat and dog hearts (NS). The combination of rapid intravascular sequestration, delayed extravascular infiltration, and low incidence of neutrophil-cardiac myocyte contact in situ in these two species suggests that neutrophil-mediated cardiac myocyte injury during early reperfusion may initially depend on diffusion of inflammatory mediators and subsequently require direct contact between neutrophils and cardiac myocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-566
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Creatine kinase activity
  • Endothelium
  • Neutrophil margination
  • Polymorphonuclear leukocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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