The influence of blood glucose on neutrophil function in individuals without diabetes

Luminescence. Jul-Aug 2013;28(4):569-73. doi: 10.1002/bio.2495. Epub 2013 Mar 19.


We assessed the association of neutrophil function with glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels in a Japanese general population. Participants were 809 males and females who were over 20 years old living in the Iwaki region in Aomori Prefecture located in northern Japan. Lifestyle parameters (smoking, alcohol consumption, and exercise habits), HbA1c and neutrophil function such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) production capability and phagocytic activity (PA) were measured. ROS production capability was measured before and after phagocytic stimulus to obtain basal ROS production and stimulated ROS production. Level of HbA1c had a positive correlation with basal ROS production (p=0.053), a negative correlation with stimulated ROS production (p=0.072) and PA (p=0.059) only in post-menopausal groups, and not in pre-menopausal groups. However, there were no correlations between levels of HbA1c and neutrophil functions in male. In conclusion, in the present study, despite the presence of diabetes, chronic hyperglycemia was found to cause an increase in daily basal ROS production of neutrophils, and increased susceptibility to infection caused by reduced neutrophilic reaction in females in their menopause. Therefore, from the oxidative point of view, strict glycemic control is necessary to prevent post-menopausal females from developing diabetic complications in spite of the presence of diabetes.

Keywords: Diabetes; HbA1c; neutrophils; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • Phagocytosis
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human