Operation Everest II: Alterations in the immune system at high altitudes

Richard Meehan, Ulric Duncan, Laureen Neale, Gerald Taylor, Harold Muchmore, Nan Scott, Keith Ramsey, Eric Smith, Paul Rock, Randall Goldblum, Charles Houston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated the effects on immune function after progressive hypobaric hypoxia simulating an ascent to 25,000 ft (7620 m) over 4 weeks. Multiple simultaneous in vitro and in vivo immunologic variables were obtained from subjects at sea level, 7500 ft (2286 m), and 25,000 ft during a decompression chamber exposure. Phytohemag-glutinin-stimulated thymidine uptake and protein synthesis in mononuclear cells were reduced at extreme altitudes. Mononuclear-cell subset analysis by flow cytometry disclosed an increase in monocytes without changes in B cells or T-cell subsets. Plasma IgM and IgA but not IgG levels were increased at altitudes, whereas pokeweed mitogen-stimulated in vitro IgG, IgA, and IgM secretion was unchanged. During exposure to 25,000 ft, in vitro phytohemagglutinin-stimulated interferon production and natural killer-cell cytotoxicity did not change statistically, but larger intersubject differences occurred. IgA and lysozyme levels (nasal wash) and serum antibodies to nuclear antigens were not influenced by altitude exposure. These results suggest that T-cell activation is blunted during exposure to severe hypoxemia, whereas B-cell function and mucosal immunity are not. Although the mechanism of altered in vitro immune responsiveness after exposure to various environmental stressors has not been elucidated in humans, hypoxia may induce alterations in immune regulation as suggested by in vitro immune assays of effector-cell function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-406
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Volume8
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1988

Fingerprint

Immune System
Immunoglobulin A
Immunoglobulin M
B-Lymphocytes
Immunoglobulin G
Pokeweed Mitogens
Mucosal Immunity
Nuclear Antigens
T-Lymphocyte Subsets
Phytohemagglutinins
Muramidase
Decompression
Nose
Oceans and Seas
Natural Killer Cells
Thymidine
Interferons
Monocytes
Flow Cytometry
In Vitro Techniques

Keywords

  • human immunobiology
  • hypoxia
  • immune regulation
  • Immune suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this

Meehan, R., Duncan, U., Neale, L., Taylor, G., Muchmore, H., Scott, N., ... Houston, C. (1988). Operation Everest II: Alterations in the immune system at high altitudes. Journal of Clinical Immunology, 8(5), 397-406. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00917156

Operation Everest II : Alterations in the immune system at high altitudes. / Meehan, Richard; Duncan, Ulric; Neale, Laureen; Taylor, Gerald; Muchmore, Harold; Scott, Nan; Ramsey, Keith; Smith, Eric; Rock, Paul; Goldblum, Randall; Houston, Charles.

In: Journal of Clinical Immunology, Vol. 8, No. 5, 09.1988, p. 397-406.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Meehan, R, Duncan, U, Neale, L, Taylor, G, Muchmore, H, Scott, N, Ramsey, K, Smith, E, Rock, P, Goldblum, R & Houston, C 1988, 'Operation Everest II: Alterations in the immune system at high altitudes', Journal of Clinical Immunology, vol. 8, no. 5, pp. 397-406. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00917156
Meehan R, Duncan U, Neale L, Taylor G, Muchmore H, Scott N et al. Operation Everest II: Alterations in the immune system at high altitudes. Journal of Clinical Immunology. 1988 Sep;8(5):397-406. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00917156
Meehan, Richard ; Duncan, Ulric ; Neale, Laureen ; Taylor, Gerald ; Muchmore, Harold ; Scott, Nan ; Ramsey, Keith ; Smith, Eric ; Rock, Paul ; Goldblum, Randall ; Houston, Charles. / Operation Everest II : Alterations in the immune system at high altitudes. In: Journal of Clinical Immunology. 1988 ; Vol. 8, No. 5. pp. 397-406.
@article{8d214d77d1db49dba809015fbbca9904,
title = "Operation Everest II: Alterations in the immune system at high altitudes",
abstract = "We investigated the effects on immune function after progressive hypobaric hypoxia simulating an ascent to 25,000 ft (7620 m) over 4 weeks. Multiple simultaneous in vitro and in vivo immunologic variables were obtained from subjects at sea level, 7500 ft (2286 m), and 25,000 ft during a decompression chamber exposure. Phytohemag-glutinin-stimulated thymidine uptake and protein synthesis in mononuclear cells were reduced at extreme altitudes. Mononuclear-cell subset analysis by flow cytometry disclosed an increase in monocytes without changes in B cells or T-cell subsets. Plasma IgM and IgA but not IgG levels were increased at altitudes, whereas pokeweed mitogen-stimulated in vitro IgG, IgA, and IgM secretion was unchanged. During exposure to 25,000 ft, in vitro phytohemagglutinin-stimulated interferon production and natural killer-cell cytotoxicity did not change statistically, but larger intersubject differences occurred. IgA and lysozyme levels (nasal wash) and serum antibodies to nuclear antigens were not influenced by altitude exposure. These results suggest that T-cell activation is blunted during exposure to severe hypoxemia, whereas B-cell function and mucosal immunity are not. Although the mechanism of altered in vitro immune responsiveness after exposure to various environmental stressors has not been elucidated in humans, hypoxia may induce alterations in immune regulation as suggested by in vitro immune assays of effector-cell function.",
keywords = "human immunobiology, hypoxia, immune regulation, Immune suppression",
author = "Richard Meehan and Ulric Duncan and Laureen Neale and Gerald Taylor and Harold Muchmore and Nan Scott and Keith Ramsey and Eric Smith and Paul Rock and Randall Goldblum and Charles Houston",
year = "1988",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1007/BF00917156",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "8",
pages = "397--406",
journal = "Journal of Clinical Immunology",
issn = "0271-9142",
publisher = "Springer New York",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Operation Everest II

T2 - Alterations in the immune system at high altitudes

AU - Meehan, Richard

AU - Duncan, Ulric

AU - Neale, Laureen

AU - Taylor, Gerald

AU - Muchmore, Harold

AU - Scott, Nan

AU - Ramsey, Keith

AU - Smith, Eric

AU - Rock, Paul

AU - Goldblum, Randall

AU - Houston, Charles

PY - 1988/9

Y1 - 1988/9

N2 - We investigated the effects on immune function after progressive hypobaric hypoxia simulating an ascent to 25,000 ft (7620 m) over 4 weeks. Multiple simultaneous in vitro and in vivo immunologic variables were obtained from subjects at sea level, 7500 ft (2286 m), and 25,000 ft during a decompression chamber exposure. Phytohemag-glutinin-stimulated thymidine uptake and protein synthesis in mononuclear cells were reduced at extreme altitudes. Mononuclear-cell subset analysis by flow cytometry disclosed an increase in monocytes without changes in B cells or T-cell subsets. Plasma IgM and IgA but not IgG levels were increased at altitudes, whereas pokeweed mitogen-stimulated in vitro IgG, IgA, and IgM secretion was unchanged. During exposure to 25,000 ft, in vitro phytohemagglutinin-stimulated interferon production and natural killer-cell cytotoxicity did not change statistically, but larger intersubject differences occurred. IgA and lysozyme levels (nasal wash) and serum antibodies to nuclear antigens were not influenced by altitude exposure. These results suggest that T-cell activation is blunted during exposure to severe hypoxemia, whereas B-cell function and mucosal immunity are not. Although the mechanism of altered in vitro immune responsiveness after exposure to various environmental stressors has not been elucidated in humans, hypoxia may induce alterations in immune regulation as suggested by in vitro immune assays of effector-cell function.

AB - We investigated the effects on immune function after progressive hypobaric hypoxia simulating an ascent to 25,000 ft (7620 m) over 4 weeks. Multiple simultaneous in vitro and in vivo immunologic variables were obtained from subjects at sea level, 7500 ft (2286 m), and 25,000 ft during a decompression chamber exposure. Phytohemag-glutinin-stimulated thymidine uptake and protein synthesis in mononuclear cells were reduced at extreme altitudes. Mononuclear-cell subset analysis by flow cytometry disclosed an increase in monocytes without changes in B cells or T-cell subsets. Plasma IgM and IgA but not IgG levels were increased at altitudes, whereas pokeweed mitogen-stimulated in vitro IgG, IgA, and IgM secretion was unchanged. During exposure to 25,000 ft, in vitro phytohemagglutinin-stimulated interferon production and natural killer-cell cytotoxicity did not change statistically, but larger intersubject differences occurred. IgA and lysozyme levels (nasal wash) and serum antibodies to nuclear antigens were not influenced by altitude exposure. These results suggest that T-cell activation is blunted during exposure to severe hypoxemia, whereas B-cell function and mucosal immunity are not. Although the mechanism of altered in vitro immune responsiveness after exposure to various environmental stressors has not been elucidated in humans, hypoxia may induce alterations in immune regulation as suggested by in vitro immune assays of effector-cell function.

KW - human immunobiology

KW - hypoxia

KW - immune regulation

KW - Immune suppression

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0023682041&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0023682041&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/BF00917156

DO - 10.1007/BF00917156

M3 - Article

C2 - 2460489

AN - SCOPUS:0023682041

VL - 8

SP - 397

EP - 406

JO - Journal of Clinical Immunology

JF - Journal of Clinical Immunology

SN - 0271-9142

IS - 5

ER -