Prednisolone pharmacodynamics: leukocyte trafficking in the rat

Life Sci. 1994;55(19):PL371-8. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(94)00693-8.


Leukocytes circulate throughout the body patrolling for foreign antigens and facilitating immune responses. Corticosteroids exert their immunosuppressive actions, in part, by inhibiting the normal trafficking of these cells. The rat was used to investigate corticosteroid-induced changes in circulating total lymphocytes, CD4+ cells, and granulocytes. Prednisolone doses of 5, 25, and 50 mg/kg or saline were given i.v. Blood was taken over 24 hr for analysis of cell subsets by flow cytometry. Steroid exposure was assessed by assaying plasma prednisolone by HPLC. Response profiles were complicated, possibly by opposing effects on the recirculation of cells to blood. This prospect was investigated using pharmacodynamic cell trafficking models. Steroid-like effects in saline treated animals that may be due to stress or other factors limited data interpretation. As an animal model to characterize cell trafficking actions, the rat is an imperfect model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4 Antigens / blood
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Granulocytes / cytology
  • Granulocytes / drug effects
  • Granulocytes / immunology
  • Leukocytes / cytology
  • Leukocytes / drug effects*
  • Leukocytes / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Prednisolone / blood
  • Prednisolone / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • CD4 Antigens
  • Prednisolone