Changes in the mechanical and adhesive behaviour of neutrophils on cooling: potential modifiers of microvascular perfusion

Gerard Nash, Katherine Abbitt, [No Value] [No Value], Karim Jetha, Stuart Egginton

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Changes in the rheological properties of neutrophils may influence flow in microvessels that are cooled below normal body temperature. We investigated the effects of temperature on the mechanical and adhesive properties of human neutrophils by measuring transit times for individual cells flowing through 8-mum-pores in filters, and adhesion to P-selectin for cells perfused over a monolayer of activated platelets. Pore transit time increased as temperature was decreased from 37 degreesC to 0 degreesC. Upon rapid cooling, there was an instantaneous increase attributable to changes in aqueous viscosity. Interestingly, at 10 degreesC specifically, there was an additional increase in transit time, which was abolished by the inhibitor of actin polymerization, cytochalasin B. This meant that by 15 min, transit time at 10 degreesC was greater than at 0 degreesC. Most adherent cells on P-selectin were rolling, rather than stationary, at 10, 26 or 37 degreesC. The velocity of rolling slowed with decreasing temperature. The total number of adherent cells decreased with increasing wall shear rate, but for a given shear rate there was relatively little effect of temperature on attachment. However, when adhesion at 10, 26 or 37 degreesC was compared at equal shear stress (taking into account fluid viscosity), adhesion was greatest at 10 degreesC. Measurements of immunofluorescence showed that exposure to 10 degreesC gradually increased expression of beta2-integrin CD11b/CD18, but this did not cause transformation to stationary adhesion with time in the flow assay. Thus, neutrophils show an anomalous rheological response around 10 degreesC, which may impair local microcirculation in the cold. On rewarming, "activated" cells might inhibit recovery or become released into the systemic circulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-770
Number of pages9
JournalPfluegers Archiv: European journal of physiology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2001


  • deformability
  • rheology
  • adhesion
  • cold exposure
  • microcirculation


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