Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

How long does a neutrophil live? : The effect of 24 h whole blood storage on neutrophil functions in pigs

Neutrophils are important effector cells of the innate immune system, traditionally regarded to have a short life span. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of the whole blood storage on neutrophil functions, e.g., viability, antimicrobial effect, neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation and phagocytosis. Therefore, fresh porcine whole blood was compared to whole blood stored for 24 h in the dark at room temperature. Different cell parameters in whole blood and in isolated neutrophils were analyzed. The following parameters were analyzed: cell count, band and segmented neutrophil count, viability, cholesterol content, release of free DNA as a marker for cell death, phagocytic activity in whole blood and in isolated neutrophils, the transmigration rate of neutrophils to IL8 stimulus, the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and the formation of NETs. It was observed that the number of isolated neutrophils decreased over time, indicating cell death occurs during 24 h of blood storage. However, the surviving neutrophils isolated from stored blood reacted comparably or even showed enhanced antimicrobial activity in the case of phagocytosis of Streptococcus (S.) suis, ROS production, and transmigration. The slightly altered cholesterol level of the harvested neutrophils in stored blood when compared to fresh blood partially explains some of the detected differences.

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