Dynamics of neutrophil infiltration during cutaneous wound healing and infection using fluorescence imaging

Min Ho Kim, Wei Liu, Dori L Borjesson, Fitz Roy E Curry, Lloyd S. Miller, Ambrose L. Cheung, Fu-Tong Liu, Roslyn Rivkah Isseroff, Scott I. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


Neutrophil influx is an early inflammatory response that is essential for the clearance of bacteria and cellular debris during cutaneous wounding. A non-invasive real-time fluorescence imaging technique was developed to examine the kinetics of enhanced green fluorescence protein-polymorphonuclear leukocyte (EGFP-PMN) influx within a wound. We hypothesized that infection or systemic availability would directly regulate the dynamics of EGFP-PMN recruitment and the efficiency of wound closure. Neutrophil recruitment increased dramatically over the first 24 hours from 106 at 4 hours up to a maximum of 5 × 106 EGFP-PMNs at 18 hours. A high rate of EGFP-PMN turnover was evidenced by ∼80% decrease in EGFP signal within 6 hours. In response to wound colonization by Staphylococcus aureus or injection of GM-CSF, systemic PMNs increased twofold above saline control. This correlated with an increase in EGFP-PMN recruitment up to ∼107 within the wound. Despite this effect by these distinct inflammatory drivers, wound closure occurred at a rate similar to the saline-treated control group. In summary, a non-invasive fluorescence-based imaging approach combined with genetic labeling of neutrophils provides a dynamic inner view of inflammation and the kinetics of neutrophil infiltration into the wounded skin over extended durations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1812-1820
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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