Neutrophil function in systemic lupus erythematosus and other collagen diseases.
Using a whole blood technique we assessed neutrophil migration, phagocytosis, and killing in a group of 20 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and in 8 patients with other connective tissue disorders. In the untreated cases of SLE neutrophil migration was significantly depressed, but it was usually normal in the treated group. This may be attributable either to an intrinsic neutrophil abnormality or to a humoral factor. Although isolated abnormalities of phagocytosis and killing were observed in SLE, these functions were normal when the patients were considered as a group. The treated patients with other collagen diseases showed enhanced migration in both autologous and control plasma, normal phagocytosis, and enhanced killing in autologous plasma only. The small group of untreated, non-SLE patients showed some depression of all 3 functions. There was no correlation between neutrophil function and clinical activity of disease. In the SLE patients there was no correlation between neutrophil function and circulating immune complexes.