Multiple organ damage caused by tumor necrosis factor and prevented by prior neutrophil depletion

A. A. Mallick, A. Ishizaka, K. E. Stephens, J. R. Hatherill, H. D. Tazelaar, T. A. Raffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The effect of TNF on nonpulmonary multiple organ damage (MOD) was studied. Since polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) are thought to play an important role in septic or TNF-induced MOD, we investigated both neutrophil sufficient (PMN+) and neutropenic (PMN-) guinea pigs. Sepsis was induced by Escherichia coli administration (2 x 109/kg) or recombinant human TNF (1.4 x 106 U/kg) was infused into PMN+ and PMN- guinea pigs. During necropsy, the PMN+/TNF and PMN+/E coli animals exhibited marked damage in the adrenal glands, kidneys and liver as evidenced by hemorrhage, congestion, and PMN sequestration on histopathologic examination. There was also increased tissue albumin accumulation in the adrenal glands, kidneys, spleen, heart, and liver as demonstrated by 125I-labeled albumin determinations. In contrast, the PMN-/TNF group did not reveal histopathologic damage in any organ system and there was no abnormal organ accumulation of 125I-albumin. However, in PMN-/E coli animals, marked histopathologic damage in the adrenal glands and liver was evident. Furthermore, there were marked accumulations of 125I-albumin in the adrenals, heart, kidneys, liver, and spleen. Moreover, the PMN-/E coli guinea pigs had a much greater accumulation (p < 0.01) of 125I-albumin in the kidneys than any other group including the PMN+/E coli group. Thus, nonpulmonary MOD in guinea pigs is caused by TNF administration and can be prevented by PMN depletion. However, while E coli administration also caused marked nonpulmonary MOD in neutrophil sufficient guinea pigs, equivalent or greater damage was produced in neutropenic animals. This suggests that while TNF-induced MOD may be primarily mediated by PMN, E coli-induced MOD seems to be mediated by more than PMN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1114-1120
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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