Effects of oxygen on macrophage activity

Anaerobiosis does not reduce the phagocytic activity of peritoneal macrophages but prolonged in vitro exposure (over 24 hours) in hyperoxia or to HBO induces in macrophages a decrease in phagocytosis, bactericidal activity, cellular mobility and DNA synthesis54. These alterations could be due to the anomalies in oxidizing activity, since the NADPH oxidase activity and the production of O2" are decreased. However, short exposure (2 hours) to HBO (100 % O2, 2 to 3 ata) does not alter phagocyte activity in the splenic macrophages of mice17.

Phagocyte viability is not altered by a short exposure to HBO. In vivo studies have confirmed the deleterious effects of prolonged hyperoxia (85 % O2, 90 hours) on alveolar macrophages with decreased chemotaxis, adhesion, phagocytosis and bactericidal activity. This partly accounts for the large number of respiratory infections in patients undergoing prolonged HBO52.

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