This study investigated the effect of different arginine (Arg) concentrations on adhesion molecule expression on endothelial cells (ECs) and leukocytes and the transendothelial migration of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) through ECs stimulated by plasma or peritoneal drain fluid (PDF) from surgical patients. Human umbilical vein ECs (HUVECs) and PMNs from healthy subjects were treated with different concentrations (0, 50, 100, and 1000 μmol/L) of Arg for 24 h. After that, HUVECs were stimulated for 3 h with plasma or PDF from patients who underwent abdominal surgery, and PMNs were allowed to transmigrate through ECs for 2 h. The HUVEC expression of cellular adhesion molecules (CAMs) and integrin (CD11b) and the interleukin (IL) 8 receptor expression on PMNs were measured by flow cytometry. The PMNs transmigrating through ECs were also analyzed. The results showed that CAM and integrin expressions in PDF groups were higher than those in control groups. Among the PDF groups, IL-8 secretions from ECs and PMNs were lower with 100 and 1000 μmol/L Arg than with 0 and 50 μmol/L Arg, and this was consistent with the expression of the IL-8 receptor on PMNs. In addition, CAM expressions on ECs and CD11b expression on PMNs, as well as PMN transmigration, were lower with 100 and 1000 μmol/L Arg than with 0 and 50 μmol/L Arg. The HUVECs stimulated by plasma from surgical patients had similar effects on surface molecule expression as PDF; however, as shown in PDF stimulation, the effects were not so obvious. Inhibition of nitric oxide production results in high CAM and IL-8 expressions comparable with groups with low Arg administration. The results of this in vitro study suggest that ECs and PMNs were activated after patients' plasma or PDF stimulation. A low Arg concentration comparable with catabolic conditions resulted in higher adhesion molecule expression and greater transendothelial migration of neutrophils. Arginine administration at levels similar to or higher than physiological concentrations reduced IL-8 and CAM expression, and PMN transmigration was also decreased after stimulation with plasma or PDF from surgical patients. Inactivation of NO results in high CAM and IL-8 expression. This finding indicated that NO may be an important endogenous inhibitor for EC-PMN interaction and neutrophil transmigration.
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