Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Surg Res. 2009 Apr;152(2):311-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2008.05.001. Epub 2008 Jun 2.

Norepinephrine-mediated suppression of phagocytosis by wound neutrophils.

Author information

  • 1Burn and Shock Trauma Institute, Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois, USA.



The systemic response to injury is characterized by massive release of norepinephrine (NE) into the circulation as a result of global sympathetic activation. Multiple authors have demonstrated NE-mediated alterations in migration of circulating neutrophils to wounds. We hypothesized that NE further alters wound neutrophil phagocytic function through adrenergic signaling pathways.


A standard subcutaneous sponge wound model was used. Murine wound neutrophils were harvested at 24 and 120 h after injury and treated with physiological (10(-9) M) and pharmacologic (10(-6) M) doses of NE. Phagocytosis of green fluorescent protein-labeled Escherichia coli was assayed by flow cytometry. The signaling pathways mediating NE modulation of phagocytosis by wound neutrophils were defined by pharmacologic manipulation of alpha- and beta-adrenoreceptors and protein kinase A.


Pharmacologic-dose NE, but not-physiological-dose NE, suppressed the phagocytic efficiency of 120-h wound neutrophils. This alteration in phagocytic efficiency appears to be mediated through alpha- and beta- adrenoreceptors and downstream protein kinase A. Phagocytosis by 24-h wound neutrophils was not impacted by NE treatment.


The present study is the first to demonstrate NE-mediated alterations in the process of phagocytosis by wound neutrophils. We conclude that NE plays a temporally and dose-defined immunomodulatory role in cutaneous wound healing through alterations in phagocytosis by wound neutrophils and may represent a target for therapeutic manipulation of the innate immune response.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center