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Angele, Martin K.; Nitsch, Stefan M.; Hatz, Rudolf A.; Angele, Peter; Hernandez-Richter, Thomas; Wichmann, Mathias W.; Chaudry, Irshad H. and Schildberg, Friedrich Wilhelm (2002): L-arginine: A unique amino acid for improving depressed wound immune function following hemorrhage. In: European Surgical Research, No. 1-2: pp. 53-60 [PDF, 337kB]


Objective: To determine whether L-arginine has any salutary effects on wound immune cell function following trauma-hemorrhage. Background. Depressed wound immune function contributes to an increased incidence of wound infections following hemorrhage. Although administration of L-arginine has been shown to restore depressed cell-mediated immune responses following hemorrhage potentially by maintaining organ blood flow, it remains unknown whether Larginine has any salutary effects on the depressed local immune response at the wound site. Methods: Male mice were subjected to a midline laparotomy and polyvinyl sponges were implanted subcutaneously in the abdominal wound prior to hemorrhage (35 +/- 5 mm Hg for 90 min and resuscitation) or sham operation. During resuscitation mice received 300 mg/kg body weight L-arginine or saline (vehicle). Sponges were harvested 24 h thereafter, wound fluid collected and wound immune cells cultured for 24 h in the presence of LPS. Pro- (IL-1beta, IL-6) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokines were determined in the supernatants and the wound fluid. In addition, wounds were stained for IL-6 immunohistochemically. In a separate set of animals, skin and muscle blood flow was determined by microspheres. Results: The capacity of wound immune cells to release IL-1beta and IL-6 in vitro was significantly depressed in hemorrhaged mice receiving vehicle. Administration of L-arginine, however, improved wound immune cell function. In contrast, in vivo the increased IL-6 release at the wound site was decreased in L-arginine-treated mice following hemorrhage. Moreover, IL-10 levels were significantly increased in the wound fluid in hemorrhaged animals receiving L-arginine compared to vehicle-treated mice. In addition, the depressed skin and muscle blood flow after hemorrhage was restored by L-arginine. Conclusions: Thus, L-arginine might improve local wound cell function by decreasing the inflammatory response at the wound site. Since L-arginine protected wound immune cell function this amino acid might represent a novel and useful adjunct to fluid resuscitation for decreasing wound complications following hemorrhage. Copyright beta 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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