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Pentoxifylline attenuates neutrophil activation in experimental endotoxemia in chimpanzees

By D. van Leenen, T. van der Poll, M. [=Marcel M.] Levi, H. ten Cate, S. J. van Deventer, C. E. Hack, L. A. Aarden and J. W. ten Cate

Abstract

Costimulation of neutrophils and cytokines may play an important role in organ injury in sepsis. Pentoxifylline inhibits various neutrophil functions in vitro, and attenuates endotoxin-induced production of TNF in both in vitro and in vivo models. To assess the effect of pentoxifylline on neutrophil activation in endotoxemia, nine adult chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) were i.v. injected with saline (n = 2), Escherichia coli endotoxin (4 ng/kg; n = 4), or E. coli endotoxin (4 ng/kg) in combination with pentoxifylline (500 mg/3 h, starting 30 min before the endotoxin injection; n = 3). Serial blood samples were obtained for measurements of leukocyte counts and the granulocytic proteinases elastase complexed with alpha 1-antitrypsin and lactoferrin, and cytokines during the next 5 h. No changes were observed in the saline-treated chimpanzees. Endotoxin induced a marked leukocytosis and neutrophilia, which were slightly reduced by pentoxifylline. In contrast, pentoxifylline almost completely prevented endotoxin-induced neutrophil degranulation: peak elastase-alpha 1-antitrypsin was 164 +/- 21 ng/ml (mean +/- SE) after endotoxin alone, vs 71 +/- 7 ng/ml after endotoxin with pentoxifylline (t = 3 h; p <0.05); peak lactoferrin was 329 +/- 15 and 182 +/- 5 ng/ml, respectively (t = 5 h; p <0.05). Pentoxifylline also inhibited the endotoxin-induced release of TNF (271 +/- 26 vs 55 +/- 23 pg/ml at t = 1.5 h; p <0.05) and IL-6 (225 +/- 42 vs 73 +/- 25 pg/ml at t = 2 h; p <0.05). IL-8 release was not significantly inhibited by pentoxifylline. In none of the animals activation of the C system could be detected. We conclude that pentoxifylline attenuates neutrophil activation in endotoxemia in chimpanzees, probably in part by inhibiting the release of TN

Year: 1993
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