Modulation of Suppressor Cell Activity and Improved Resistance to Infection in the Burned Mouse

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The preponderance of the literature dealing with posttraumatic and postburn immunosuppression reports little progress in controlling the immune response or activity of suppressor cells. We hypothesized that the most promising method of controlling the immune response would be to control suppressor cell activity by pharmacologic methods. Using the mouse model (because of the many similarities in immune response between mice and human beings), at least three different classes of drugs were found effective in controlling suppressor cell proliferation and function: the alkylating agent cyclophosphamide, histamine2 blockers, and prostaglandin-blocking agents. Improvement of postburn immune function is desirable, but the real test of immunomodulating agents is their ability to increase host resistance to subsequent infection. Having determined the beneficial properties of the three classes of drugs and established dose-effective relationships, we tested whether the same agents would improve survival of burned mice in the face of septic challenge. The results suggest that this immunomodulating therapy may have a real place in burn treatment.

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