UMMS Affiliation

Departments of Quantitative Health Sciences; Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Publication Date


Document Type



Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins | Hemic and Lymphatic Diseases | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Infectious Disease


BACKGROUND: Neutrophils produce and carry key components of the alternative pathway (AP) of complement, including properdin (P). The effect of chemotherapy-induced absolute neutropenia on circulating P levels and AP function has not been previously established.

METHODS: We prospectively measured free P levels in serum from 27 individuals expected to develop neutropenia after administration of chemotherapy for hematological malignancies in preparation for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and here describe the relationship between serum P levels and the neutrophil count over time.

RESULTS: When the absolute neutrophil count (ANC) was > 500 cells/mm3 pre-chemotherapy, P levels were significantly higher than P levels associated with an ANC ≤500 cells/mm3 (median values 8392 ng/mL and 6355 ng/mL, respectively; P = .001). Pairwise comparison between pre-chemotherapy P levels and P levels at initial or last documented neutropenia before recovery showed a significant decline (P < .0001). No correlation was observed between P levels during neutropenia and after recovery of neutropenia in 20 subjects for which postneutropenia samples were obtained. A small but significant (P = .02) decrease in AP hemolytic activity was noted between baseline (preneutropenia) and samples obtained at the onset of neutropenia, but only with low (6.25%) and not higher (12.5 or 25%) serum concentrations.

CONCLUSIONS: A decline in P levels and AP activity could contribute to the increased risk of infection in neutropenic patients and warrants further study.


human, neutropenia, properdin

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Copyright © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America.

DOI of Published Version



Open Forum Infect Dis. 2016 Dec 7;4(1):ofw250. eCollection 2017 Winter. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Open forum infectious diseases

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.