The effects of glucose (5–25 mM) and insulin concentration (40–320 μU/ml) on the cell shape of neutrophil granulocytes from healthy humans were studied. Both non-activated and N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMet-Leu-Phe)-activated neutrophils in suspension were used as a model for initial chemotactic activation of neutrophil locomotion. D-glucose, but not the non-metabolizable analogue 3-O-methyl-D-glucose, dose-dependently reduced the fMet-Leu-Phe-induced (10−8M) neutrophil elongation. Insulin, either alone or in combination with 25 mM D-glucose, was without effect on the fMet-Leu-Phe-induced neutrophil elongation. Furthermore, the inhibitory effect of D-glucose was observed already after 1 min of exposure to D-glucose and fMet-Leu-Phe. D-glucose diminished the fraction of neutrophils with elongated locomotor shape by changing it into an irregular cell shape, suggesting that at least part of the D-glucose effect could be associated with mechanisms determining the typical locomotor shape. The present results suggest that D-glucose through its metabolism, but without the involvement of insulin, reduces chemotactically induced elongation to a locomotor neutrophil shape, and thus neutrophil motility, and that this effect of glucose appears prior to adhesion. This glucose-induced inhibition of the neutrophil chemotactic response may be involved in the neutrophil deficiency seen in diabetes mellitus.

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