• The effect of the anaesthetic agent isoflurane on the rate of neutrophil apoptosis in vitro.

      Tyther, R; Fanning, N; Halligan, M; Wang, J; Redmond, H P; Shorten, G; Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Cork University Hospital, , University College Cork, Ireland. (2012-02-03)
      BACKGROUND: Volatile anaesthetic agents influence neutrophil function, and potentially, the inflammatory response to surgery. AIM: The objective of this study was to determine the effect of isoflurane (1-4%) on human polymorphonuclear neutrophil apoptosis in vitro. METHODS: Venous blood from 12 healthy volunteers was exposed to 0, 1, and 4% isoflurane delivered via a 14G Wallace flexihub internal jugular cannula, at a fresh gas flow of 0.51/min for 5 minutes. Isolated neutrophils were assessed for apoptosis at 1, 12, and 24 hours in culture using dual staining with annexin V-FITC and propidium iodide (Annexin-V FITC assay). Data were analysed using paired, one-tailed Student's t-tests. p<0.05 was considered significant. RESULTS: At 1 hour apoptosis was inhibited in the 1% (5.1 [6.8]%; p=0.017) and 4% (4.8 [4.5]%; p=0.008) isoflurane groups compared to control (11.3 [6.9]%). At 12 and 24 hours, a dose-dependent inhibition of apoptosis was demonstrated, i.e. 4% > 1% > 0%. CONCLUSION: Human neutrophil apoptosis is inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner in vitro by isoflurane in clinical concentrations.
    • Effects of chronic occupational exposure to anaesthetic gases on the rate of neutrophil apoptosis among anaesthetists.

      Tyther, R; Halligan, M; Wang, J; Redmond, H P; Shorten, G; Cork University Hospital, Departments of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine. (2012-02-03)
      BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Volatile anaesthetic agents are known to influence neutrophil function. The aim was to determine the effect of chronic occupational exposure to volatile anaesthetic agents on the rate of neutrophil apoptosis among anaesthetists. To test this hypothesis, we compared the rate of neutrophil apoptosis in anaesthetists who had been chronically exposed to volatile anaesthetic agents with that in unexposed volunteers. METHODS: Venous blood (20 mL) was withdrawn from 24 ASA I-II volunteers, from which neutrophils were isolated, and maintained in culture. At 1, 12 and 24 h in culture, the percentage of neutrophil apoptosis was assessed by dual staining with annexin V-FITC and propidium iodide. RESULTS: At 1 h (but not at 12 and 24 h) in culture, the rate of neutrophil apoptosis was significantly less in the anaesthetists--13.8 (12.9%) versus 34.4 (12.1%) (P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Chronic occupational exposure to volatile anaesthetic agents may inhibit neutrophil apoptosis. This may have implications for anaesthetists and similarly exposed healthcare workers in terms of the adequacy of their inflammatory response.