Description

Transfusion of granulocyte concentrates (GC) is an alternative therapy for neutropenic patients with life-threatening infections. While neutrophils are the main source of antimicrobial activity, only neutrophil numbers are used to certify GCs. The objective of this study was thus to functionally characterize neutrophils in GCs prepared by leukapheresis from G-CSF-stimulated donors and compare to the less characterized prednisone GCs. GCs prepared from healthy donors stimulated with prednisone and then G-CSF after a 6-month washout period were analyzed prior to and after leukapheresis, and after storage. Leukocyte composition, neutrophil viability, calcium mobilization, chemotaxis, phagocytosis, reactive oxygen species, cytokine production and metabolites were determined. G-CSF GCs contained significantly more neutrophils than prednisone GCs of which 40% were immature. In comparison to non-stimulated healthy donor neutrophils, prednisone GC neutrophils exhibited enhanced phagocytosis and G-CSF GC neutrophils showed decreased chemotaxis but increased IL-8 production. Leukapheresis altered prednisone GC neutrophil responses. Storage had a significant, negative impact on G-CSF GC neutrophils compared to prednisone GC neutrophils. G-CSF and prednisone GC neutrophils thus differ in maturity and function, and G-CSF GC neutrophils are more sensitive to storage. Functional testing of GC neutrophils and better storage conditions would improve the quality of this blood product.