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, Volume 21, Issue 3–4, pp 355–357 | Cite as

Leukotriene B4 metabolism in human leukocytes: Fact or artefact?

  • R. M. McMillan
  • S. J. Foster
  • P. A. Dieppe
Mediators of Acute Inflammation


The object of this study was to investigate the importance of omega oxidation in regulating leukotriene B4 (LTB4) levels in man. In human polymorphonuclear leukocytes metabolism of LTB4 was rapid but was critically dependent on PMN number: greater than 1.5×106 PMN/ml were required. Metabolism of LTB4 was blocked in the presence of plasma. In whole blood and in PMN-rich rheumatoid synovial fluids no significant metabolism of LTB4 was detected within 30 min at 37°C. We conclude that LTB4 metabolism at inflamed sites will be regulated both by cellular content and the degree of plasma exudation. In most pathological conditions rapid exchange with the micro-vasculature will be more important than metabolism in limiting LTB4 levels.


Pathological Condition Synovial Fluid Human Leukocyte Polymorphonuclear Leukocyte LTB4 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. McMillan
    • 1
  • S. J. Foster
    • 1
  • P. A. Dieppe
    • 2
  1. 1.Bioscience I DeptICI Pharmaceuticals DivisionMacclesfieldUK
  2. 2.Department of MedicineBristol Royal InfirmaryBristolUK

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