Drug Targeting with Phagocytic Polymorphonuclear Leucocytes

  • Robert Hyde

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


1. Phagocytic polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMNLs) or neutrophils have a marked avidity for the uptake of particulate material and are the first cell type to respond to inflammatory stimuli in vivo. 2. By harnessing these pathophysiological characteristics the inherent targeting capacity of the PMNL could be exploited to carry drug loaded particles to these sites. 3. In vitro chemotaxis of PMNLs was studied in response to N-formyl-L-methionyl-L-leucyl-L-phenylalanine (FMLP) in the Blindwell chamber assay. 4. After phagocytosis of 1.1m polystyrene latex (PSL) beads at a range of incubation concentrations (5,10,20, and 30 beads/cell) the migration of the PMNL population was not significantly different from control, without beads. 5. The distribution of the beads within the filter showed that a disproportionately large number of PSL (50%) were associated with the cells on the surface of the filter that had not penetrated the filter. Eighty per cent of the PMNL population migrated and despite containing less PSL beads/cell, 50% of the dose was carried into the filter. Between 5 and 10% of these PSL were carried beyond 60m in the assay. 6. These results suggested heterogeneity of the PMNL population and to achieve efficient targeting with these cells preferential selection of the migratory sub-population would be needed. 7. The air-pouch model was then developed to study the focal accumulation of PMNLs in vivo. The PMNL isolated did not survive long enough in the circulation due to the trauma of the isolation procedure used; an alternative method will have to be employed.
Date of Award1989
Original languageEnglish


  • Drug targeting
  • phagocytic polymorphonuclear leucocytes

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