Polymorphonuclear leukocytes from burned patients exhibit suppressed chemotaxis possibly related to the susceptibility of such patients to opportunistic infection. This study assesses the effect of normal serum upon burn suppressed leukocytes and the effects of 3 commonly used topical chemotherapeutic agents upon the chemotaxis exhibited by granulocytes from normal controls. In vitro incubation with normal serum restored chemotaxis in normal in the suppressed granulocytes from burned patients. The serum albumin alone did not exhibit this effect. Both mafenide and silver sulfadiazine suppressed the chemotactic function of granulocytes obtained from normal controls, while silver nitrate exhibited no such activity. Studies of the chemotactic function of control granulocytes after incubation with sera from burned patients yielded similar results; only the sera from patients treated with silver nitrate failed to suppress normal leukotaxis. The chemotactic impairment found in leukocytes from burned patients did not vary with the agent used for the optical therapy. These data suggest the presence of a reversible intrinsic defect in leukotaxis consequent to burn injury, related to some factor deficient in burn serum. In addition, extrinsic impairment of normal granulocyte leukotaxis by 2 commonly used chemotherapeutic agents is demonstrated.
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