The effects of endotoxin administration on in vitro granulocyte function were studied in normal man. Four healthy volunteers received an intravenous injection of Pseudomonas endotoxin, 0.1 mug/kg. Endotoxemia resulted in transient neutropenia followed by a rebound neutrophilia. The nadir of the granulocyte count occurred at about 1 hr and maximal neutrophilia 2–4 hr after endotoxin administration. Throughout this time period, neutrophil phagocytosis and killing of Candida albicans were normal, as were resting and postphagocytic glucose metabolism and leukocyte random migration. However, postendotoxin neutrophils demonstrated a markedly decreased chemotactic response in Boyden chambers. The defect was maximal 1 hr after endotoxin administration and persisted 3–4 hr. These observations suggest that, in addition to neutropenia, endotoxin can transiently cause a chemotactic defect or select for a population of circulating neutrophils with an impairment of chemotactic activity.
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