Postoperative adhesion formation results from a fibroproliferative inflammatory reaction. Macrophages are critical in the final resolution of the inflammatory process and tissue repair, including modulation of proliferation and differentiation of fibroblasts and secretion of neutral proteases like plasminogen activator. We, therefore, studied the influence of peritoneal macrophage enhancement on postoperative adhesion formation in five groups of rabbits. Group 1 was a control with normal peritoneum. Animals in group 2 had increased macrophage population in their peritoneum by intraperitoneal injection of protease peptone 3 days before adhesion induction. In group 3, animals were treated by protease peptone as in group 2 and then depleted of the increased macrophage population by peritoneal lavage before adhesion induction. In group 4 macrophages were transplanted from animals enriched as in group 2 into a nonenriched peritoneum at the time of adhesion induction. Group 5 had a normal peritoneum with peritoneal lavage before adhesion induction. Peritoneal adhesions were induced at laparotomy by repairing a peritoneal defect in two different models. It was found that enhancement of peritoenal macrophages by protease peptone reduced markedly the degree of postoperative adhesion formation. After depletion of the enhanced peritoneal macrophages by peritoneal lavage the degree of adhesion formation was equivalent to that of controls. Finally, macrophage transplantation into a nonenhanced macrophage peritoneum also reduced the degree of postoperative adhesion formation. It is concluded that enhancement of peritoneal macrophages reduces postoperative peritoneal adhesion formation.
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