Gender differences in phagocytic responses in the blood and liver, and the generation of cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant in the liver of acutely ethanol-intoxicated rats

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1996 Aug;20(5):914-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1996.tb05271.x.


Phagocytosis by circulating and liver-recruited polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) and Kupffer cells was studied in acutely ethanol-intoxicated, age-matched male and female rats. Acute ethanol intoxication in female rats is associated with a more effective phagocytic PMN response in the circulating blood, but with lower phagocytic activities by liver-recruited PMNs and Kupffer cells than in their male counterparts. Endotoxin [lipopolysaccharide (LPS)] treatment (consisting of a 90-min intravenous infusion of a nonlethal dose) of acutely ethanol-intoxicated male and female rats results in enhanced phagocytic responses in liver-sequestered PMNs and Kupffer cells, but not in circulating PMNs. However, the LPS challenge elicits a lesser phagocytic response in liver PMNs and Kupffer cells of female rats than in males. Significant gender differences exist in the extent of hepatic PMN infiltration in ethanol plus LPS-treated rats, which is paralleled by very similar differences in CD11b/c adhesion molecule expression in circulating PMNs and cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant generation by hepatocytes and Kupffer cells. Taken together, these data indicate a smaller phagocytic response to fight infection in the liver of acutely alcohol-intoxicated female rats, but also a mechanism to afford some protection against neutrophil-associated tissue injury.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Intoxication / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Chemotactic Factors / metabolism*
  • Cytokines / physiology*
  • Female
  • Kupffer Cells / immunology
  • Leukocyte Count / drug effects
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Liver / immunology*
  • Male
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Phagocytosis / immunology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sex Factors


  • Chemotactic Factors
  • Cytokines
  • Lipopolysaccharides