, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 690–701 | Cite as

Alcohol Binge Reduces Systemic Leukocyte Activation and Pulmonary PMN Infiltration After Blunt Chest Trauma and Hemorrhagic Shock

  • Niklas Franz
  • Scott Dieteren
  • Kernt Köhler
  • Katharina Mörs
  • Ramona Sturm
  • Ingo Marzi
  • Mario Perl
  • Borna ReljaEmail author
  • Nils Wagner


Blunt chest (thoracic) trauma (TxT) and hemorrhagic shock (HS)-induced local and systemic inflammation with increased neutrophil activity often result in an impaired organ function. Next to increasing the trauma risk, binge drinking causes anti-inflammatory effects due to immunomodulatory properties of alcohol (ethanol, EtOH). The impact of clinically relevant acute binge drinking scenario on local and systemic inflammatory changes, notably regarding the activity and longevity of leukocytes, has been analyzed in a combinatory trauma model of TxT + H/R. Twenty-four female Lewis rats (190–240 g) received alcohol (5 g/kg, 30%) or saline gavage. Two hours after alcohol gavage, TxT with subsequent HS (60 min) and resuscitation (TxT + H/R) were induced. Sham-operated animals underwent surgical procedures. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL), lung tissue, and blood were harvested 2 h after resuscitation. Pulmonary infiltration with PMN, IL-6 gene expression, systemic PMN activation, neutrophil and monocyte apoptosis (caspase-3/7), and pyroptosis/inflammasome activation (caspase-1) were evaluated. Lung damage was evaluated by hematoxylin-eosin (H/E) staining and determination of the total protein content in BAL (ANOVA, p < 0.05 was significant). TxT + H/R-induced increases in IL-6, PMN infiltration and BAL-protein concentration were significantly reduced by EtOH; however, histological morphology changes after trauma remained unaltered by EtOH. TxT + H/R-induced systemic leukocyte activation (increased CD11b and CD31, reduced CD62L expression) as well as inflammasome activation in monocytes were significantly diminished by EtOH. Apoptosis was prolonged only in PMN after TxT + H/R and was further prolonged by EtOH, an effect that was observed in sham animals as a trend as well. Acute EtOH exposure inhibits the activation of circulating leukocytes after trauma compared to controls. These EtOH-driven systemic changes may be associated with reduced infiltration with PMN after trauma as well as reduced local tissue inflammation.


ethanol neutrophils trauma CD11b CD62L apoptosis longevity inflammasome 





Acute respiratory distress syndrome


Apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing CARD


Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid


Chloroacetate esterase


Caspase activation and recruitment domain


Cluster of differentiation


Comparative threshold-cycle


Damage-associated molecular pattern


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, German Research Foundation






Fluorescein isothiocyanate


Earth’s gravitational acceleration


Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase






Hemorrhagic shock






Mean arterial blood pressure


Mean fluorescence units


Multiple organ failure


Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome


Sodium chloride


Nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells


P value


Pathogen-associated molecular pattern


Pattern recognition receptor


Polymorphonuclear leukocyte




Ribonucleic acid


Room temperature


Semi-quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction


Standard error of the mean


Blunt thoracic/chest trauma





We thank Katrin Jurida, Kerstin Kontradowitz, and Alexander Schaible for outstanding technical assistance.

Author Contributions

BR and MP designed the study and obtained the grant. NF, NW, and SD performed the experiments. NF, BR, and NW performed the statistical analysis and wrote the manuscript. KK evaluated the histology. KM, RS, and IM made important intellectual contributions to the study and revised the manuscript.


This study was supported by grants from DFG RE 3304/5-1 and DFG PE 908/3-1.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

Animal protocols were approved by the Veterinary Department of the Regional Council in Darmstadt, Germany.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niklas Franz
    • 1
  • Scott Dieteren
    • 1
  • Kernt Köhler
    • 2
  • Katharina Mörs
    • 1
  • Ramona Sturm
    • 1
  • Ingo Marzi
    • 1
  • Mario Perl
    • 3
  • Borna Relja
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nils Wagner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Trauma, Hand and Reconstructive SurgeryUniversity Hospital Frankfurt, Goethe-UniversityFrankfurtGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Veterinary PathologyJustus Liebig University GiessenGiessenGermany
  3. 3.BG-Trauma Center MurnauMurnauGermany

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