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J Surg Res. 2008 Nov;150(1):11-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2007.12.780. Epub 2008 Jan 22.

Reperfusion-induced neutrophil CD18 polarization: effect of hyperbaric oxygen.

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  • 1Microsurgery and Hyperbaric Laboratory, Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Las Vegas, Nevada 89102-2227, USA.



Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) inhibits ischemia reperfusion (IR) -induced neutrophil adhesion to endothelium through an unknown mechanism. This study evaluates the effect of HBO on IR-stimulated neutrophil adhesion and polarization of expressed CD18 adhesion molecules using a novel in vitro adhesion assay and confocal microscopy.


Neutrophils from normal animals were isolated from whole blood and incubated with plasma from rat gracilis muscle flaps on coverslips pretreated with ICAM. Percent adherence to ICAM and CD18 polarization was evaluated in the following five groups: (1) Nonischemic control, n = 15; (2) 4 h ischemia (IR, n = 15); (3) 4 h ischemia with HBO treatment (100% oxygen at 2.5 atmospheres absolute (IR + HBO, n = 15)); (4) 4 h ischemia with 100% oxygen at room temperature and pressure (RTP) (IR + normobaric hyperoxia, n = 5); and (5) 4 h ischemia with 8% oxygen at 2.5 atmospheres absolute (IR + hyperbaric normoxia, n = 5). Direct HBO treatment of neutrophils was also evaluated.


Neutrophils exposed to IR plasma showed a significant increase in percent adherent (0.8 +/- 0.1% versus 16.7 +/- 2.2%, P < 0.05) and polarized cells (6.2 +/- 1.7% versus 43.9 +/- 12.2%, P < 0.05) compared to controls. Hyperbaric oxygen significantly reduced the adhesion and polarization to 1.6 +/- 0.3 and 4.1 +/- 2.5%, respectively (P = < 0.05). Normobaric hyperoxia and hyperbaric normoxia did not affect neutrophil adherence or CD18 polarization following IR. Direct HBO treatment of neutrophils did not change the percent of polarized cells in IR.


Hyperbaric oxygen inhibits IR-induced neutrophil adhesion by blocking CD18 surface polarization and requires plasma exposure to HBO. Treatment with oxygen or pressure alone is not effective.

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