Scientific publications

Depression of the mononuclear phagocyte system caused by high doses of narcotics

Aug 1, 1992 | Magazine: Revista de Medicina de la Universidad de Navarra

Carrera J, Catalá JC, Monedero P, Carrascosa F, Arroyo JL, Subirá ML.
Departamentos de Anestesia e Inmunología, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra.

We evaluated in human monocytes the effect of high doses of alfentanyl on the expression of vimentin filaments, the phagocytic activity and the membrane display of HLA-DR molecules in the subjects undergoing surgery. The study was performed on 30 patients, ASAI-II.

The patients received 100 mcg/kg i.v. of Alfentanil and the maintenance of anaesthesia was made with Alfentanil (2-3 mcg/kg/min.). The patients were randomized in two groups. The patients were ventilated with N2O:O2 (1:1) (Group I) or air: O2 (1:1) (Group II). After surgery, all patients of the Group II received Naloxone (0.2-0.4 mg). Central venous blood samples were obtained before induction, one and two hours after induction of anaesthesia and at the end of surgery. Separation of monocytes was performed according to Boyum technique. CD35 and HLA-DR molecules and vimentin filaments were studied by indirect immunofluorescence method using monoclonal antibodies. Percentage of positive cells were read with a cytofluorometer.

The phagocytic function of monocytes was determined by ingestion of latex particles. Cortisol and ACTH plasma levels were determined by RIA. High doses of Alfentanyl depress phagocytic function and membrane display of CD35 and HLA-DR molecules in monocyte and induce marked changes in the organization of vimentin filaments in these cells in patients undergoing surgery. This monocytic depression was more marked in the patients ventilated with N2O. In our results there was uninhibition of ACTH and cortisol plasma levels responses to surgical stress by Alfentanil administration.

Since the effects of Alfentanil were reversed by Naloxone, an opioid receptor mechanism seems to mediate these events.

CITATION  Rev Med Univ Navarra. 1992 Jul-Sep;37(3):119-25