Neutrophilic granulocytes in acute bacterial infection. Sequential studies on lysozyme, myeloperoxidase and lactoferrin

Clin Exp Immunol. 1976 Dec;26(3):463-8.


The changes in intraneutrophilic and plasma concentrations of the three antibacterial proteins lysozyme, lactoferrin, and myeloperoxidase were studied sequentially during acute bacterial infection in nine patients. Intraneutrophilic concentrations of the three proteins were decreased by more than 50% during the 1st week of infection, followed by a slow increase over the following 2 weeks. Nadir values coincided with maximal toxic granulation of the neutrophils. The data suggest that neutrophilic granulocytes are deficient during early bacterial infection, possibly because of deficient synthesis of antibacterial proteins in the bone marrow, and that neutrophil toxic granulation is the visual counterpart of this defect. The plasma concentrations of the three proteins showed considerable differences: whereas plasma lysozyme did not show any sequential changes, plasma myeloperoxidase was high at the start of infection and quickly decreased towards normal values, and plasma lactoferrin, high in the first samples, showed a secondary peak 1 week after onset of disease, before normalization was seen. These differences may result from differences in the signals are specific for the individual antibacterial protein and not for the different types of neutrophil granules.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology*
  • Blood Bactericidal Activity
  • Humans
  • Lactoferrin / blood*
  • Lactoglobulins / blood*
  • Meningitis / immunology
  • Middle Aged
  • Muramidase / blood*
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Peroxidase / blood*
  • Peroxidases / blood*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / immunology
  • Time Factors


  • Lactoglobulins
  • Peroxidases
  • Peroxidase
  • Muramidase
  • Lactoferrin