Synthetic Colloids Attenuate Leukocyte-Endothelial Interactions by Inhibition of Integrin Function

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It has been suspected that synthetic colloids may interfere with leukocyte adhesion by down-regulation of endothelial cell adhesion molecules. Although inhibition of endothelial inflammation might reduce leukocyte-related tissue injury, the same mechanism may be detrimental for host defense during severe infection. Regarding the widespread use of colloids, the authors performed a laboratory investigation to determine the mechanisms by which synthetic colloids interfere with leukocyte-endothelial interactions.


Adhesion molecule expression on native and cytokine-activated endothelium from umbilical veins was measured after pretreatment with gelatin and various preparations of dextran or hydroxyethyl starch. Inhibition of neutrophil adhesion to activated endothelium was examined in a flow chamber by perfusion of untreated and colloid-treated neutrophils over colloid-pretreated endothelium at 2 dyn/cm2. Comparisons were made between untreated controls, colloid-pretreated endothelium, and colloid-cotreated neutrophils.


Intercellular adhesion molecule 1, vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, E-selectin, and P-selectin were not attenuated by any colloid. Accordingly, colloid pretreatment of endothelium alone did not reduce neutrophil adhesion. In contrast, when neutrophils were cotreated by addition of colloids to the perfusate immediately before perfusion, adhesion decreased by 31–51% (P < 0.05) regardless of the colloid type. As indicated by the twofold increased rolling fractions, this reduction was due to an inhibition of neutrophil integrins.


This study shows that synthetic colloids inhibit neutrophil adhesion by a neutrophil-dependent mechanism rather than interfering with endothelial cell activation. This suggests that inhibition of leukocyte sequestration by volume support is a common and transient phenomenon depending on the colloid concentration in plasma.

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