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Transfus Apher Sci. 2013 Dec;49(3):474-81. doi: 10.1016/j.transci.2013.03.005. Epub 2013 Mar 30.

Mac1+/Gr1+ cells contribute to transfusion-related acute lung injury.

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Department of Blood Transfusion, Xijing Hospital, The Fourth Military Medical University, 17th Changlexi Road, Xi'an 710032, China. Electronic address:


Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is a serious complication associated with blood transfusion and can cause transfusion associated fatalities. Both antibody dependent and non-dependent mechanisms are involved in TRALI, as proposed over the past years. Nonetheless, many details of the immune cells involved in TRALI, particularly the Mac1(+)/Gr1(+) cells from donors, are not fully understood yet. Here we used an in vitro transwell system and a mouse model to study the role of donor leukocytes, present in the donor material, in the occurrence of TRALI reactions. We found that there is a number of immature myeloid cells with Mac1(+)/Gr1(+) phenotype present in the red blood cell (RBC) products, when prepared by regular methods. We found that murine Mac1(+)/Gr1(+) cells from stored RBC products display an elevated MHC I and CD40 expression, as well as an enhanced tumor necrosis factor alpha(TNF-α), interlukin-6(IL-6) and macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2) secretion. When tested in a transwell endothelial migration assay, Mac1(+)/Gr1(+) cells showed a significant capability to cross the endothelial barrier. In vivo investigation demonstrated that compared to the purified RBC transfusion, more murine Mac1(+)/Gr1(+) cells from the regular method produced RBC sequestered in the lung, which associated to shorter survival. Taken together, these data suggest that donor derived Mac1(+)/Gr1(+) cells can play a significant role in TRALI reactions, and that reduction of Mac1(+)/Gr1(+) cell number from RBC products is necessary to control the severity of TRALI reactions in clinic.


Cytokine; Mac1(+)/Gr1(+) cell; Red blood cell transfusion; TRALI

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