Ischemia, Reperfusion, and White Blood Cell Function in the Microcirculation
Even under normal physiological conditions, the presence of leukocytes in microvessels influences local flow field and perfusion. Entry of leukocytes into capillaries may temporarily interrupt red cell motion. In capillaries, leukocytes move with a lower velocity than red cells, which leads to accumulation of erythrocytes upstream of the leukocyte and a plasma region downstream. Leukocyte adhesion to the post-capillary endothelium may also reduce microvascular perfusion. Consequently leukocytes may cause elevation of whole organ resistance.