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Ann Intern Med. 1995 Dec 15;123(12):919-24.

Polymorphonuclear leukocytes in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: abnormalities in metabolism and function.

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Division of Nephrology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033, USA.



To determine basal levels of cytosolic calcium ([Ca2+]i) and phagocytic activity in polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNLs) from patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM).


Prospective cohort study.


A university-county hospital.


Cytosolic calcium levels, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content, and phagocytosis of PMNLs from patients with NIDDM and from controls.


In patients with NIDDM, we evaluated the effect of treatment with an oral hypoglycemic agent (glyburide) on [Ca2+]i levels, ATP content, and the phagocytosis of PMNLs.


22 controls and 34 patients with NIDDM were examined. Fifteen patients were studied before and after 3 months of treatment with glyburide.


Polymorphonuclear leukocytes from patients with NIDDM showed significantly elevated basal levels of [Ca2+]i (68 +/- 9.6 compared with 43 +/- 4.9 nmol/L; P < 0.01); reduced ATP content (1.30 +/- 0.58 compared with 2.35 +/- 0.45 nmol/10(6) PMNLs; P < 0.01); and impaired phagocytosis (117 +/- 21.0 compared with 145 +/- 17.4 micrograms oil/10(7) PMNLs per minute; P < 0.01) compared with controls. There was a direct and significant correlation (P < 0.01, r = 0.80) between [Ca2+]i levels in PMNLs and serum glucose levels and an inverse correlation between phagocytic ability and [Ca2+]i levels (P < 0.01; r = 0.62) as well as between phagocytic activity and fasting serum glucose levels (P < 0.01, r = 0.54) in patients with NIDDM. Glyburide therapy resulted in significant reduction in fasting serum glucose levels; in PMNLs, this treatment resulted in a significant reduction in [Ca2+]i levels, a significant increase in ATP content, and a significant improvement of phagocytosis.


Patients with NIDDM have elevated [Ca2+]i levels in PMNLs. This abnormality is probably induced by hyperglycemia and is primarily responsible for the imparied phagocytosis seen in these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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