Glycosyl-phosphatidyl-inositol-defective granulocytes from paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria patients show increased bacterial ingestion but reduced respiratory burst induction

Carmela Cacciapuoti, Giuseppe Terrazano, Lucia Barone, Michela Sica, Cristina Becchimanzi, Bruno Rotoli, Giuseppina Ruggiero, Fiorella Alfinito

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Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is characterised by the emergence of a GPI-defective clonal hematopoiesis. Its clinical features are hemolytic anemia, cytopenia, and thrombosis. Circulating monocytes and granulocytes are largely GPI-defective in PNH patients. This study aims to investigate the granulocyte functional properties in PNH. We analyzed bacterial-dependent intracellular ingestion and the consequent activation of oxidative burst in GPI-defective granulocytes from four neutropenic PNH patients. Our data show a significant increase in the ability of GPI-defective granulocytes to ingest opsonized bacteria. In addition, an impaired respiratory burst effectiveness in response to two independent bacterial stimuli, the N-formyl-MetLeuPhe (fMLP) synthetic bacterial peptide and E. coli, was revealed. The occurrence of neutropenia and the severe impairment of oxidative burst, occurring in chronic granulomatosis disease, were unable to significantly affect phagocytosis. Thus, additional mechanisms, able to differentially affect ingestion ability and respiratory burst effectiveness, have to be hypothesized. The reduced burst effectiveness of GPI-defective granulocytes was maintained after treatment with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, a pharmacological stimulus able to extensively recruit and to trigger intracellular protein kinase C (PKC). Moreover, blocking of PKC has been observed to severely affect granulocyte respiratory burst with a mild effect on the phagocytosis. These data suggest a role for a modulation of intracellular PKC in the pathogenesis of the impaired granulocyte oxidative burst.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Hematology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007



  • Granulocytes
  • Oxidative burst
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria
  • Phagocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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