Prospective study of neutrophil chemokine responses in trauma patients at risk for pneumonia

Michael H. Tarlowe, Andrew Duffy, Kollenkode B. Karman, Kiyoshi Itagaki, Robert F. Lavery, David H. Livingston, Paul Bankey, Carl J. Hauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Neutrophil hyperactivity contributes to organ failure, whereas hypofunction permits sepsis. The chemokine receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2 are central to polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) function. We prospectively assessed CXCR function and expression in PMNs from trauma patients at high risk for pneumonia and their matched volunteer controls. CXCR2-specific calcium flux and chemotaxis were desensitized by injury, returning toward normal after 1 week. CXCR1 responses were relatively maintained. These defects appeared to be caused by preferential suppression of CXCR2 surface expression. To evaluate potential mechanisms of in vivo chemokine receptor regulation further we studied cross-desensitization of chemokine receptors in normal PMNs. Susceptibility to desensitization was in the order CXCR2 > CXCR1 > formyl peptide or C5a receptors. Trauma desensitizes CXC receptors, with CXCR2 being especially vulnerable. Desensitization is most marked immediately postinjury, generally resolving by Day 7. High-affinity chemoattractant receptors responsible for PMN chemotaxis from bloodstream to tissue appear to be regulated by injury. Receptors for end-target chemoattractants regulate CXCR1 and CXCR2 but resist suppression themselves and respond normally after injury. CXCR2 desensitization occurs before pneumonia, which developed in 44% of these patients. Suppression of high-affinity PMN receptors, like CXCR2, may predispose to pneumonia after trauma or other inflammatory conditions that lead to systemic inflammatory response syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-759
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


  • Chemokines
  • G-protein-coupled receptors
  • Injury
  • Pneumonia
  • Polymorphonuclear neutrophils

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