Background. Tissue myeloperoxidase (MPO) is a marker of neutrophil (PMN) accumulation in tissues (leukosequestration). We measured MPO in the livers, guts, and lungs of mice after burn injury and studied the additive effect of burn excision on lung MPO. Lung histologic characteristics were also examined. PMN respiratory activity was assessed by measuring intracellular H2O2 content. Methods. Mice received 32% total body surface area (TBSA) burns; some underwent burn excision followed by wound closure with allograft skin, either immediately or 48 hours after burn. Tissue MPO was measured by a colormetric assay, and intracellular H2O2 was quantified by flow cytometry. Results. MPO was elevated in lungs 8 to 24 hours after burn (p<0.05) but not in the liver or ileum. Other burned mice received either immediate or 48-hour-delayed wound excision and allografting. In controls a similar-size area was excised and grafted with normal or burned skin. Burned animals had increased lung MPO compared with nonburned animals (p<0.05). Highest lung MPO levels were seen after burn/immediate excision (p<0.001). Lung MPO levels were not different comparing unburned mice undergoing skin excision and grafting with either nonburned or burned skin. When burn excision was delayed 48 hours, lung MPO was increased moderately (p<0.05) but remained far below levels in mice that were excised immediately after burn. PMN influx into lung tissues was confirmed by histologic examination. PMN H2O2 production was increased in burned mice and was additionally increased after immediate wound excision. Conclusions. Although burn injury produces pulmonary leukosequestration, the phenomenon is unrelated to local effects of burned skin. In this experimental model immediate postburn wound excision increased pulmonary leukosequestration to higher levels than after burn injury alone, and intracellular H2O2 content also increased. Pulmonary leukosequestration may predispose to lung injury, possibly limiting the benefits of wound excision performed extremely early postburn.
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