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Am J Pathol. 1986 Dec;125(3):563-70.

Influence of minor thermal injury on expression of complement receptor CR3 on human neutrophils.


Thermal injury is well known to inhibit functions of the circulating neutrophil related to its role in host defense against infection, but the mechanism(s) of this phenomenon are not fully understood. To gain further clues to these mechanisms, the authors have studied patients with thermal injury in terms of altered expression of neutrophil cell membrane receptors for the opsonic complement-derived ligand C3bi--complement receptor Type 3, or CR3. CR3 expression was selected for study because an increase in the number of receptors on the cell surface can be stimulated by products of complement activation known to accumulate after thermal injury and because of the role of CR3 in phagocytic and adherence functions of the neutrophil. Expression of CR3 was monitored semiquantitatively by flow cytometry with the use of a murine monoclonal antibody (OKM1) specific for an antigen (CD11) associated with this receptor. Patients evaluated were limited in this study to those with minor degrees of thermal injury (second-degree burn involving less than 20% of total body surface area) so that possible confounding effects of major injury and its complications could be eliminated. It was observed that patient neutrophil CR3 becomes significantly up-regulated during the first week, as early as 1 day after injury. The maximum level of expression of CR3 averaged greater than 150% (range, 70-314%) of the respective minimum level observed for each patient. The minimum levels of expression of CR3 on patient neutrophils, reached 11-37 days after injury for 7 of 8 patients, were comparable to the level of expression of CR3 on unstimulated control neutrophils. Such temporal up-regulation of patient neutrophil CR3 suggests the early generation of stimuli of CR3 mobilization in response to thermal injury. Increased numbers of CR3 on patient neutrophils may augment microbicidal function and enhance or inhibit delivery of cells to the burn site.

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