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Functional defects in phagocytic cells from patients with iron overload

By B.S. van Asbeck, J.M. Marx, A. Struyvenberg and J. Verhoef


Phagocytic functions were studied in patients with iron overload. Phagocytosis of radiolabelled opsonised Staphylococcus aureus by mononuclear (MN) leucocytes and polymorphonuclear (PMN) leucocytes was measured in 15 and 16 patients, respectively. The intracellular killing capacity of MN and PMN leucocytes of seven and nine patients, respectively, and chemotaxis of PMN leucocytes of eight patients, were assessed also. These cellular functions were compared with phagocytic functions of controls tested on the same day, and with the normal ranges of phagocytic cell functions obtained with MN and PMN leucocytes from 48 and 59 healthy donors, respectively. One or more phagocytic functions were impaired in 62·5 per cent of the patients. Comparison of the various phagocytic functions in patients and simultaneously tested controls showed a significant decrease of the mean phagocytic capacity of the patients' MN and PMN leucocytes (P < 0·015 and P < 0·03, respectively), as well as the mean bactericidal activity of the MN leucocytes (P < 0·05) and the mean chemotactic responsiveness of the PMN leucocytes (P < 0·025). Patients with excess iron must be regarded as compromised hosts, not only because of the increased availability of iron for bacterial growth, but also because of the associated functional impairment of monocytes and granulocytes

Topics: Geneeskunde
Year: 1984
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