The effect of dexamethasone in vivo on blood and peritoneal neutrophils (PMN) in rabbits with peritonitis

Francis C. Sheng, Julie A. Freischlag, Birgitta Backstrom, Dorothy Kelly, Ronald W. Busuttil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Neutrophils play an essential role in the host's defense against infection. Our previous studies have shown that blood and peritoneal neutrophils (PMN) have different basal activities and responses to infection. We also demonstrated that peritonitis produces divergent changes in the cellular function of PMN both in the blood and in the peritoneal fluid. Steroids are well documented to cause immunosuppression both clinically and, more variably, at the cellular level. Understanding the mechanism of steroid-induced immunosuppression in surgical infection may impart insight on the management of this condition. Using a model of surgical peritonitis, we studied the effects of immunosuppression on rabbit blood and peritoneal PMN. Blood and peritoneal PMNs were harvested after the development of fibrinopurulent peritonitis. Rabbits were divided into two groups: immunosuppressed and control. Immunosuppression was accomplished by intramuscular injection of dexamethasone (2 mg/kg) for 10 days preoperatively and 10 days postoperatively. Purified PMNs were studied for phagocytosis, adhesiveness, superoxide anion production and chemotaxis from both groups. Survival was computed from the number of days the rabbit survived after the operation up to a total of 10 at which time they were sacrificed. Immunosuppression with dexamethasone resulted in inhibition of peritoneal phagocytosis and peritoneal adhesiveness; there were no changes in blood adhesiveness nor blood phagocytosis. Also, there was no significant change in superoxide anion production nor in chemotaxis. Survival of the rabbits was significantly reduced when treated with dexamethasone. Based on these data, we conclude that (1) dexamethasone has different effects on infected blood and peritoneal PNN, (2) peritoneal PMN demonstrated decreased phagocytosis and adhesiveness with steroid immunosuppression, and (3) there was a decreased survival in rabbits that received dexamethasone with fibropurulent peritonitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-301
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

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Peritonitis
Dexamethasone
Neutrophils
Immunosuppression
Adhesiveness
Rabbits
Phagocytosis
Steroids
Chemotaxis
Superoxides
Infection
Anatomic Models
Ascitic Fluid
Intramuscular Injections
Control Groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

The effect of dexamethasone in vivo on blood and peritoneal neutrophils (PMN) in rabbits with peritonitis. / Sheng, Francis C.; Freischlag, Julie A.; Backstrom, Birgitta; Kelly, Dorothy; Busuttil, Ronald W.

In: Journal of Surgical Research, Vol. 43, No. 3, 1987, p. 296-301.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sheng, Francis C. ; Freischlag, Julie A. ; Backstrom, Birgitta ; Kelly, Dorothy ; Busuttil, Ronald W. / The effect of dexamethasone in vivo on blood and peritoneal neutrophils (PMN) in rabbits with peritonitis. In: Journal of Surgical Research. 1987 ; Vol. 43, No. 3. pp. 296-301.
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