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Effects of remifentanil on neutrophil adhesion, transmigration, and intercellular adhesion molecule expression

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Anaesthetic drugs are used for pain therapy and anaesthesia. Neutrophils play a significant role during the process of inflammation. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of remifentanil and fentanyl on neutrophil migration through endothelial cell monolayers, and on adhesion molecule expression. Methods:

After isolation of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNL) we used a currently described migration assay. PMNL and/or endothelial cell monolayers (ECM) were pre-treated with remifentanil using clinically relevant, as well as higher and lower concentrations or relevant concentrations of fentanyl. Results:

Concentrations of remifentanil (50 ng/mL) similar to the relevant plasma concentration were able to inhibit PMNL migration through ECM significantly (migration compared to the control 82±7% SD; P<0.05), when both cell types were treated with the synthetic narcotic remifentanil. Fentanyl (30 ng/mL) showed a stronger inhibitory effect (migration compared to the control 67±9.2%; P<0.05). Endothelial cell adhesion molecule expression was reduced after either remifentanil or fentanyl. Conclusion:

The results of the present investigation indicate that remifentanil influences interaction of ECM against human neutrophils. Compared to fentanyl, remifentanil seems to exhibit minor inhibitory effects on neutrophil migration.

Keywords: Remifentanil; adhesion molecule expression; endothelial cell monolayers; fentanyl; neutrophil migration

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Internal Medicine I, MICU, 2: Institute of Medical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Austria 3: Department of Medical and Chemical Laboratory Diagnostics, 4: Department of Anesthesiology, Texas Technical University, Health Science Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA

Publication date: 2000-11-01

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