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Shock. 1994 Apr;1(4):273-8.

Effect of activation on neutrophil-induced hepatic microvascular injury in isolated rat liver.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.


Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) have been implicated in microvascular injury following ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) but the relative contribution of obstruction versus toxic mediators is not well defined. Therefore, the present study was performed to determine the contribution of exogenous or endogenous activation on PMN-induced microvascular and hepatocyte injury. Rat livers were isolated and perfused at constant pressure with Krebs buffer with red cells (Hct-10%) and monitored for perfused sinusoids (PS) and dead hepatocytes (propidium iodide-stained, DH) by intravital microscopy. PMNs isolated from the peritoneum after oyster glycogen injection were added to the perfusate either without or with activation by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA, 160 nM). Unactivated PMNs stuck in the liver but had no significant effect on either perfused sinusoids (11.1 +/- .4/field, unactivated PMNs versus 11.9 +/- .5/field, the time-matched control) or dead hepatocytes (1.2 +/- .4/field, unactivated PMNs versus 1 +/- .3/field, the time-matched control). Infusion of PMA-activated PMNs resulted in significant decrease in perfused sinusoids and increase in DH (9.5 +/- .3/field for PS and 3.2 +/- .6/field for DH, respectively). In contrast, when PMNs were "activated" by infusion into a liver previously made ischemic for 30 min, DH were significantly increased after 60 min (26.2 +/- 4.5/field, I/R plus PMNs versus 12.4 +/- 2/field, I/R only) but perfused sinusoids were not different from ischemia alone. These results demonstrate that oxidatively quiescent PMNs do not cause cellular or microvascular injury in spite of microvascular accumulation. Activated PMNs damage microcirculation or hepatocytes depending on the nature of the activation.

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