We have previously shown that 10 day healing wounds in rats contain wound mononuclear cells (WMNC) which inhibit normal lymphocyte mitogenic and allogeneic responses. In the present study we sought to further characterize the WMNC and define their mechanism of action. Polyvinyl alcohol sponges implanted in wounds were harvested and processed 10 days postwounding. The resultant WMNC suspension contained less than 15% macrophages. By FACS analysis, 69.5 ± 11.4% (mean ± SD of eight separate experiments) of the cells expressed the all T cell marker (W 3 13), while 47.7 ± 11.9% stained with the T helper/effector marker (W 3 25) and 49.5 ± 18.8% expressed the T suppressor/cytotoxic phenotype (OX8) (Th/Ts ratio = 0.96 ± 0.13). When various numbers of WMNC were cocultured with 5 × 105 PHA-stimulated rat thymic lymphocytes, as few as 500 WMNC inhibit normal blastogenesis. Long-term (72 or 144 hr) culture of WMNC revealed that they maintain their suppressive activity. Furthermore, the conditioned media of long-term cultures also significantly suppressed thymic lymphocyte PHA blastogenesis, suggesting that the WMNC secrete suppressive cytokines. Large doses of human recombinant IL-2 or indomethacin did not abrogate the inhibitory effect of WMNC. We conclude that the healing wound is normally infiltrated by suppressor lymphocytes which generate immune inhibitory cytokines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas