Neutrophil function in ischemic heart disease.
Neutrophils contribute to the healing of and scar formation in myocardium after ischemic injury. Many recent studies indicate that neutrophils may be involved in the genesis and propagation of myocardial ischemia. To characterize neutrophil function in ischemic heart disease, neutrophil chemotaxis, leukotriene B4 (LTB4) generation, and elastase release in plasma were measured in 20 patients with stable angina, 17 patients with unstable angina or acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and 20 age-matched control subjects. Neutrophils from patients with stable angina exhibited markedly increased chemotactic activity and LTB4 generation as compared with the age-matched control subjects (p less than 0.01). Neutrophils of nine of 17 patients with unstable angina or AMI clumped spontaneously ex vivo and exhibited marked pseudopod formation and granule extrusion on electron microscopy. Subsequent chemotactic activity and LTB4 generation by neutrophils from these patients was less than in patients with stable angina, suggesting previous in vivo activation. Plasma levels of peptide B beta, a product of fibrin degradation by human neutrophil elastase, were approximately 15-fold higher (p less than 0.001) in patients with unstable angina or AMI (588 +/- 171 pmol/l, mean +/- SEM) compared with those in patients with stable angina (37 +/- 25 pmol/l) or control subjects (40 +/- 22 pmol/l), confirming intense in vivo neutrophil activation. Our study shows enhanced neutrophil function in patients with ischemic heart disease. The increased neutrophil chemotactic activity and LTB4 generation may be markers of stable angina pectoris. Intense neutrophil activation in unstable angina or AMI, as manifested by morphologic changes in neutrophils and elastase release, may relate to ongoing in vivo cellular activation.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association