Vol 50, No 3 (2012)
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Published online: 2012-10-09

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Absolute counts of peripheral blood leukocyte subpopulations in intraabdominal sepsis and pneumonia-derived sepsis: a pilot study

Grazyna Anna Hoser, Tomasz Skirecki, Małgorzata Złotorowicz, Urszula Zielińska-Borkowska, Jerzy Kawiak
DOI: 10.5603/FHC.2012.0057
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2012;50(3):420-426.

Abstract

The leading pathophysiological changes during sepsis include systemic abnormalities in the immune
response. Due to the general character of these disturbances, sepsis is usually studied as a homogenous clinical
condition. We aimed to compare the immune response in intraabdominal sepsis (IAS) and pneumonia-derived
sepsis (PDS). The following cell populations were examined: white blood cell count (WBC), monocytes, lymphocytes:
CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, B cells, and NK cells. In both studied groups (i.e. IAS and PDS), the
WBC was elevated. However, it was significantly higher in the IAS group than in the PDS group. The difference
was due to a lower granulocyte count, as well as a lower monocyte count in PDS. We found no significant
correlation between the total lymphocyte number and CD3+CD8+ T cells in either form of sepsis. Similarly, we
observed no correlation between the total lymphocyte number and the NK cells subset in IAS. However, the
numbers of CD3+CD8+ and NK cells correlated similarly in both types of sepsis. Both studied types of sepsis
induced profound lymphocytopenia, with marked loss of CD8+ T cells and the NK cells. However, the similar
relation between them, which was independent of the infection type, suggests that the NK and CD3+CD8+ cells
have shared mechanisms of regulation. The primary site of infection has an impact on the global immune reaction.
These alternations include especially myeloid cells: granulocytes and monocytes which disappear from peripheral
blood during PDS, but increase in IAS.

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