The effects of burn injury and sepsis on intracellular lymphocyte metabolism were evaluated using a rat model. Adult Lewis rats were subjected to a sham burn, a 30% full-thickness burn, or a 30% full-thickness burn which was infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. One week later the animals were sacrificed, and the splenic lymphocytes were harvested and cultured for 24 hr with mitogen stimulation. Lymphocytes from the burned-infected rats were found to utilize more glucose and certain amino acids than did lymphocytes obtained from the other two groups. Lymphocytes obtained from the burned-infected group had lower levels of the immunologically important enzyme, adenosine deaminase, than did the lymphocytes obtained from the other two groups. In summary, sepsis appears to alter a number of intracellular lymphocyte metabolic processes. These alterations may be found to be predictive of early sepsis.
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