Post-operative depression of antibody-dependent lymphocyte cytotoxicity following minor surgery and anaesthesia.
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Leucocytes taken 1 day post-operatively from patients who had undergone surgery under general anaesthesia for benign breast disease showed a significantly diminished capacity to induce lysis of antibody-coated target cells compared with those taken pre-operatively from the same patients. No significant fall in PHA responsiveness was observed in these leucocytes in the post-operative period. This indicates a high sensitivity of the cell types involved in the antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity reaction to the suppressive effect of surgery and anaesthesia. Plasmas taken post-operatively from these patients were effective in diminishing the capacity of leucocytes from healthy untreated donors to initiate antibody-coated target cell lysis compared with pre-operative plasmas although the plasma cortisol levels in these samples did not differ significantly. Possible mediators of this suppressive effect and its significance are discussed.
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