The migration of leucocytes to sites of acute and chronic inflammation is an event of central importance to the maintenance of inflammatory processes; extravascular leucocytes are responsible for generating chemical mediators of inflammation and the phagocytosis of particulate matter. They may also be involved in the conversion of acute to chronic inflammatory lesions. Leucocytes are attracted to sites of tissue injury by a range of chemoattractants. This paper describes the development of a method for separating on Percoll gradients purified populations of equine polymorphonuclear and mononuclear leucocytes and use of the isolated cells in vitro studies. Two independent assay methods, the agarose microdroplet and the Boyden chamber microfilter techniques, were used. The assays were utilised in three ways: (a) to investigate the sensitivity of polymorphonuclear and mononuclear leucocytes to two standard chemoattractants, zymosan activated plasma and n-formyl-methionyl-leucyl phenylalanine; (b) to study the chemoattractant properties of leukotriene B4 and prostaglandin E2 for equine leucocytes; and (c) to investigate the inhibitory actions of several nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on equine leucocyte movement.
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