T lymphocyte subsets and Th1/Th2 balance after laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy

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Laparoscopic surgery provides for a less invasive procedure than open surgery in patients with gastric cancer, but the immune responses after laparoscopic surgery for early gastric cancer remain unknown.


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 20 patients with early gastric cancer who underwent laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy (LADG) or open distal gastrectomy (ODG) were obtained; the cell surface molecules and intracellular cytokines (IFN-gamma and IL-4) were measured by flow cytometry.


The populations of T lymphocytes after LADG, including CD3-, 4-, 8-, 57-, and HLA-DR-positive lymphocytes, showed patterns similar to those after ODG. The production of IFN-gamma as Th1 cell function decreased significantly on the third postoperative day after ODG but increased after LADG. The production of IL-4, representing Th2 cell function, increased postoperatively after ODG but not after LADG. Conclusions: When compared with ODG, LADG contributes to the preservation of postsurgical Th1 cell-mediated immune function.

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