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High concentrations of glucose reduce the oxidative metabolism of dog neutrophils in vitro

Anelise M Bosco*, Breno FM de Almeida, Priscila P Pereira, Luis G Narciso, Valéria MF Lima and Paulo C Ciarlini

Author Affiliations

Department of Clinical, Surgery and Animal Reproduction, College of Veterinary Medicine of Araçatuba, São Paulo State University, Araçatuba,, SP, Brazil

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BMC Veterinary Research 2013, 9:24  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-9-24

Published: 6 February 2013



Dogs are commonly affected by hyperglycemic conditions. Hyperglycemia compromises the immune response and favors bacterial infections; however, reports on the effects of glucose on neutrophil oxidative metabolism and apoptosis are conflicting in humans and rare in dogs. Considering the many complex factors that affect neutrophil oxidative metabolism in vivo, we investigated in vitro the specific effect of high concentrations of glucose on superoxide production and apoptosis rate in neutrophils from healthy dogs.


The capacity of the neutrophils to reduce tetrazolium nitroblue decreased significantly in the higher concentration of glucose (15.13 ± 9.73% (8 mmol/L) versus 8.93 ± 5.71% (16 mmol/L)). However, there were no changes in tetrazolium nitroblue reduction at different glucose concentrations when the neutrophils were first activated with phorbol myristate acetate. High concentrations of glucose did not affect the viability and apoptosis rate of canine neutrophils either with or without prior camptothecin stimulation. This study provides the first evidence that high concentrations of glucose inhibit the oxidative metabolism of canine neutrophils in vitro in a manner similar to that which occurs in humans, and that the decrease in superoxide production did not increase the apoptosis rate.


A high concentration of glucose reduces the oxidative metabolism of canine neutrophils in vitro. It is likely that glucose at high concentrations rapidly affects membrane receptors responsible for the activation of NADPH oxidase in neutrophils; therefore, the nonspecific immune response can be compromised in dogs with acute and chronic hyperglycemic conditions.

Superoxide; Respiratory burst; Programmed cell death; Leukocyte dysfunction; Hyperglycemia