Polymorphonuclear neutrophil contribution to induced tolerance to bacterial lipopolysaccharide.
The objective of this study was to investigate mechanisms by which polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) contribute to the tolerance induced by repeated lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injections. Tolerance was developed by daily intraperitoneal injections of sublethal doses of LPS for 4 days (LPS-tolerant group); controls were not pretreated (LPS-control group). Both groups were challenged with 9 mg/kg i.v. Escherichia coli LPS, a dose that resulted in 25% survival in LPS-control rats compared with 100% survival in LPS-tolerant rats. LPS injection caused an initial neutropenia in both groups. The neutropenia persisted throughout the experiment in LPS-control rats, whereas in LPS-tolerant rats the circulating PMN count increased dramatically; after 6 hours, the PMN count was 16-fold higher than that in LPS-control rats. Activation of circulating PMNs, PMN adhesion to nylon fibers, and tumor necrosis factor/cachectin activity were all increased in control rats given LPS. In contrast, LPS-tolerant rats had low activation of circulating PMNs, no trend for PMN adhesion to nylon fibers, and markedly reduced tumor necrosis factor activity. To determine whether neutropenia was associated with a trapping of PMNs in the microcirculation, we used a carbon perfusion technique 6 hours after LPS injection and examined histological sections of the myocardium. All of the arterioles and venules in both groups contained carbon; only capillaries showed evidence of obstruction. A significantly higher percentage of obstructed capillaries was observed in LPS-control rats than in LPS-tolerant rats. Obstruction of capillaries was consistently associated with trapped leukocytes. We conclude that PMN cytotoxicity induced by LPS involves microcirculatory entrapment and activation of PMNs. Repeated LPS pretreatment reduces dramatically circulating PMN activation and adhesion and is associated with an elevated circulating PMN count, a low degree of microvascular plugging, and survival after a normally lethal dose of LPS.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association