1. The high viscoelastic property of neutrophils is the major factor contributing to their extensive accumulation (more than 50% of circulating neutrophils) in the pulmonary micro vasculature. 2. The cholinergic parasympathetic and adrenergic sympathetic nerves modulate the size of the pulmonary neutrophil pool by regulating arterial and venous pressures, increases in which promote or reduce neutrophil transit times, respectively. 3. Biochemical factors, such as the cytokines and complement, which act upon the neutrophils to increase their viscoelasticity and promote the interaction of neutrophil cell adhesion molecules with counter ligands on the endothelial cell, are the primary factors regulating the size of the pulmonary pool of vascular neutrophils. 4. The primary afferent nerves, through their release of substance P, are the most important neural elements regulating neutrophil accumulation and function. Substance P facilitates the actions of other inflammatory agents (e.g. LTB4, platelet activating factor) on neutrophil adhesion, migration and biochemical reactivity. 5. The sympathetic nervous system indirectly regulates neutrophil functions by regulating the release of an immunosuppressive factor from submandibular glands. 6. With continued study of nervous system regulation of neutrophil function, the mechanisms by which psychological factors affect these cells will eventually be revealed. © 1993.
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