Effects of Trauma and Sepsis on Soluble L-Selectin and Cell Surface Expression of L-Selectin and CD11b

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To examine (1) the effects of trauma on changes in neutrophil L-selectin and CD11b expression and on the levels of soluble L-selectin and (2) whether these alterations are different on leukocyte subpopulations in those patients who develop multiple organ dysfunction syndrome.

Materials and Methods

Twenty patients with Injury Severity Score (ISS) >or=to 16 and 15 patients with ISS score < 16 were studied. Arterial blood were collected serially after injury. The staining of leukocyte surface adhesion molecules was performed with antibodies against L-selectin and CD11b. Positive cell count and mean fluorescence intensity were determined by flow cytometry. Soluble L-selectin was measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


In patients with ISS >or=to 16, neutrophil L-selectin expression showed an immediate increase, reaching peak levels between 3 to 4 hours after injury (p < 0.05 vs. patients with ISS < 16), followed by a gradual decrease. Plasma levels of soluble L-selectin reached peak levels at 6 hours after injury. However, in patients with ISS < 16, minimal changes in L-selectin expression and soluble L-selectin were observed. Neutrophil CD11b expression showed an immediate increase for the first 3 hours followed by a gradual increase up to 24 hours after injury. In patients who developed multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, CD11b both on neutrophils and lymphocytes remained elevated for 120 hours.


These findings suggest that acute neutrophil activation is an early event after trauma and may be implicated as "a vulnerable window" for leukocyte-mediated end organ injury.

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