A novel syndrome of severe neutrophil dysfunction: Unresponsiveness confined to chemotaxin-induced functions

Dirk Roos*, Taco W. Kuijpers, Françoise Mascart-Lemone, Leo Koenderman, Martin De Boer, Rob Van Zwieten, Arthur J. Verhoeven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We have identified a patient with a number of neutrophil dysfunctions. The patient was a female baby who lived for 8 months. During her life, she developed severe bacterial infections and showed omphalitis, impaired wound healing, and a pronounced leukocytosis. She was not a patient with leukocyte adhesion deficiency, because all leukocyte CD18 complex proteins were expressed at normal levels. Yet, neutrophil polarization and chemotaxis to platelet-activating factor, leukotriene B4, or formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP) were completely absent. We found a strong defect in actin polymerization in response to chemotactic stimuli, but only a retarded or even normal reaction with other stimuli. This indicates that the cellular dysfunctions were not due to an intrinsic defect in actin metabolism. Instead, the regulation of actin polymerization with chemotactic stimuli seemed to be defective. We concentrated on FMLP-induced responses in the patient's neutrophils. Functions dependent on activation of complement receptor type 3, such as aggregation or adherence to endothelial cells, were normally induced. Binding to serum-coated coverslips was normal in cell number; however, spreading was not observed. Exocytosis from the specific granules was readily induced. In contrast, FMLP failed to induce a respiratory burst activity or degranulation of the azurophil granules. FMLP induced a normal increase in free intracellular Ca2+, but a decreased formation of diglycerides (especially the 1-O-alkyl,2-acyl compounds). Thus, we have described a patient whose neutrophils show a severe defect in functional activation via chemotaxin receptors, resulting in a selective absence of IMADPH oxidase activity, exocytosis from the azurophil granules, and actin polymerization. Our findings show that actin polymerization for neutrophil spreading and locomotion is regulated differently from that for phagocytosis. Also, the release of azurophil and specific granule contents is clearly shown to be regulated in a different way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2735-2743
Number of pages9
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 1993


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