Chemotactic competence of neutrophils from neonatal calves. Functional comparison with neutrophils from adult cattle

Inflammation. 1990 Feb;14(1):109-23. doi: 10.1007/BF00914034.


Neonates demonstrate an increased susceptibility to infection. Defects in locomotory functions of newborn neutrophils may play a crucial role in this context. We therefore compared the migratory response of newborn (N-PMN) and adult (A-PMN) bovine neutrophils in a microwell filter assay. Stimulation with four different endotoxins (E. coli O128B:4 and O55B:5; S. abortus equi; S. typhimurium), with zymosan-activated plasma (ZAP) and with C5a induced dose-dependent migration of A-PMNs and N-PMNs. Migration of unstimulated cells and of cells stimulated with diluted ZAP or C5a was higher (P less than 0.05) in N-PMNs. Migration of A- and N-PMNs towards C5a was inhibited (P less than 0.001) by preincubation with either a steroidal (122 microM flumethasone) or nonsteroidal (3.3 microM phenylbutazone) antiinflammatory drug. Migratory responses of N-PMNs were inhibited less by SAIDs than were responses of A-PMNs (P less than 0.05); indeed dexamethasone slightly enhanced N-PMN responses towards C5a, and 510 microM flunixin meglumine enhanced C5a-induced migration in both age groups. Endotoxins from E. coli O55:B4, S. abortus equi, and S. typhimurium induced a higher rate of migration (P less than 0.05) in N-PMNs. In contrast to the above findings, measurement of the maximal distance of migration by the leading-front method did not reveal age-related differences. Migration speed of PMNs was lower after stimulation with C5a than with ZAP, but could be restored partly by adding human vitamin D-binding protein (Gc-globulin). The demonstrated hyperirritability of bovine N-PMNs represents a major functional difference to neonatal neutrophils from other species, including man. It may additionally be related to altered PMN functions and neonatal disease susceptibility.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / blood*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / blood*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Cattle
  • Cell Migration Inhibition
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / drug effects*
  • Complement C5a / pharmacology
  • Hematologic Tests
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Neutrophils / drug effects*
  • Platelet Activating Factor / pharmacology
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein / isolation & purification
  • Zymosan / pharmacology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Platelet Activating Factor
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein
  • Complement C5a
  • Zymosan