Leucocyte adhesion molecules are involved in the leucocyte-endothelial interaction and in the activation of coagulation and binding of complement and endotoxin. Thus, they are important in inflammation, systemic acute phase reaction, ischaemia reperfusion injury and resistance against infections. The expression of the adhesion molecules CD11b, CD11c and CD62L on leucocytes and changes in plasma products of neutrophil activation (myeloperoxidase, lactoferrin) and complement activation (C3bc, SC5b-9 (TCC)) were examined in an extracorporeal circulation (ECC) model and the effects of Carmeda bioactive surface (CBAS) heparin coating (n = 7) of the circuits were compared to uncoated control circuits (n = 5). In this model, new 'unactivated' cells mobilized from the bone marrow could not interfere with descriptive measures of cell activation as seen in in vivo studies. In the control group, CD11b and CD11c were upregulated on monocytes and granulocytes during ECC, whereas CD62L was downregulated. Heparin coating reduced the increase in CD11b and CD11c on granulocytes (p < 0.02 at 2 h), but the delayed increase in CD11c on monocytes and the delayed downregulation of CD62L on granulocytes and monocytes did not reach statistical significance. Further, heparin coating also reduced the initial decrease in the absolute cell counts of monocytes and granulocytes (p = 0.01 at 2 h), reflecting reduced adhesion to the oxygenator/tubing. The increases in plasma myeloperoxidase, lactoferrin, C3bc and TCC were lower in the heparin-coated group compared to the control group. The increases in plasma myeloperoxidase and lactoferrin correlated significantly to the increase in CD11b (r = 0.71, p = 0.02 and r = 0.64, p = 0.05, respectively) and CD11c (r = 0.72, p = 0.008 and r = 0.72, p = 0.008, respectively) on granulocytes, suggesting interacting regulatory pathways in the process of neutrophil adhesion, activation and degranulation. Thus, in this in vitro ECC model, heparin coating of oxygenator/tubing sets reduced leucocyte activation and leucocyte adhesion-related phenomena.
1997. Vol. 12, no 1, 9-20 p.