Neutrophil defect associated with malignant infantile osteopetrosis

C. J. Beard, L. Key, P. E. Newburger, R. A. Ezekowitz, R. Arceci, B. Miller, P. Proto, T. Ryan, C. Anast, E. R. Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


We studied the phagocytes from three infants with malignant osteopetrosis and from their families in an attempt to define further the phagocyte abnormalities associated with this disorder. The rapid membrane potential depolarization in response to the soluble stimuli formylmethionylleucylphenylalanine (FMLP) and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) served as a measure of neutrophil activation, with 3,3-dipentyloxacarbocyanine (diOC5[3]) used as the probe. A fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS) allowed us to use small volumes of blood in a new quantitative evaluation of neutrophil response. The neutrophils from the infants with malignant osteopetrosis were very minimally activated with either stimulus, as demonstrated by incomplete membrane potential depolarization (10% to 15% of normal controls). This finding indicates that malignant osteopetrosis is accompanied by a signficantly reduced neutrophil response to stimulation. The abnormal activation process was also reflected in the respiratory burst response of the patients' neutrophils and monocytes. Fifty percent to 60% of the infants' neutrophils totally failed to reduce nitro blue tetrazolium dye (NBT), 30% to 40% of the cells showed only slight reduction after PMA or FMLP stimulation, and only 5% to 10% demonstrated normal reduction. Peripheral blood monocytes failed to reduce NBT in 35% to 70% of the cells tested. Similar testing of granulocyte-macrophage colonies grown in vitro from circulating progenitor cells also showed an abnormal distribution of response to PMA, with a majority of colonies showing a decrease or absence of NBT reduction. Thus control of expression of the osteopetrotic defect occurs at or before the progenitor cell level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-505
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Neutrophil defect associated with malignant infantile osteopetrosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this