BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Buffy coat-derived granulocytes have been described as an alternative to the apheresis product from donors pretreated with dexamethasone and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). The latter is - dependent on the local and national settings - obtained following a demanding and time-consuming procedure, which is undesirable in critically ill septic patients. In contrast, buffy coat-derived products have a large volume and are often heavily contaminated with red cells and platelets. We developed a new pooled buffy coat-derived product with high purity and small volume, and performed a comprehensive functional characterization of these granulocytes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We pooled ten buffy coats following the production of platelet concentrates. Saline 0·9% was added to decrease the viscosity and the product was split into plasma, red cells and a 'super' buffy coat. Functional data of the granulocytes were compared to those obtained with granulocytes from healthy controls and G-CSF/dexamethasone-pretreated donors.
RESULTS: Buffy coat-derived granulocytes showed adhesion, chemotaxis, reactive oxygen species production, degranulation, NETosis and in vitro killing of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Aspergillus species comparable to control and G-CSF/dexamethasone-derived granulocytes. Candida killing was superior compared to G-CSF/dexamethasone-derived granulocytes. Immunophenotyping was normal; especially no signs of activation in the buffy coat-derived granulocytes were seen. Viability was reduced. Buffy coats are readily available in the regular blood production process and would take away the concerns around the apheresis product.
CONCLUSION: The product described appears a promising alternative for transfusion purposes.