Regeneration-Competent and -Incompetent Murids Differ in Neutrophil Quantity and Function

Jennifer L. Cyr, Thomas R. Gawriluk, John M. Kimani, Balázs Rada, Wendy T. Watford, Stephen G. Kiama, Ashley W. Seifert, Vanessa O. Ezenwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Regeneration is rare in mammals, but spiny mice (Acomys spp.) naturally regenerate skin and ear holes. Inflammation is thought to inhibit regeneration during wound healing, but aspects of inflammation contribute to both regeneration and pathogen defense. We compared neutrophil traits among uninjured, regeneration-competent (Acomys: A. cahirinus, A. kempi, A. percivali) and -incompetent (Mus musculus: Swiss Webster, wild-caught strains) murids to test for constitutive differences in neutrophil quantity and function between these groups. Neutrophil quantity differed significantly among species. In blood, Acomys had lower percentages of circulating neutrophils than Mus; and in bone marrow, Acomys had higher percentages of band neutrophils and lower percentages of segmented neutrophils. Functionally, Acomys and Mus neutrophils did not differ in their ability to migrate or produce reactive oxygen species, but Acomys neutrophils phagocytosed more fungal zymosan. Despite this enhanced phagocytosis activity, Acomys neutrophils were not more effective than Mus neutrophils at killing Escherichia coli. Interestingly, whole blood bacteria killing was dominated by serum in Acomys versus neutrophils only or neutrophils and serum in Mus, suggesting that Acomys primarily rely on serum to kill bacteria whereas Mus do not. These subtle differences in neutrophil traits may allow regeneration-competent species to offset damaging effects of inflammation without compromising pathogen defense.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1138-1149
Number of pages12
JournalIntegrative and Comparative Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Plant Science


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