Dexamethasone inhibits leukocyte emigration in rat mesenteric post-capillary venules: an intravital microscopy study

J Leukoc Biol. 1997 Sep;62(3):301-8. doi: 10.1002/jlb.62.3.301.


The effect of subcutaneous administration of dexamethasone (DEX) on interleukin-1beta(IL-1beta, 20 ng i.p., - 2 h) and platelet-activating factor (PAF, 100 nM in superfusion) -induced leukocyte interaction with the endothelium of rat mesenteric post-capillary venules was studied. DEX produced a dose-dependent inhibition of IL-1beta-induced leukocyte extravasation in the rat mesenteric vascular bed, with a calculated ED5o of 40 microg/kg and a maximal effect of 80-100% inhibition at 0.1 mg/kg. IL-1beta-induced cell adhesion to post-capillary venules was only partially inhibited by the steroid, with a calculated ED50 of 480 microg/kg and a maximal effect of 40-60% inhibition. Furthermore, the steroid inhibited leukocyte emigration, but not adhesion, caused by superfusion of the mesenteric vascular bed with PAF. A doubling of leukocyte emigration time (from 226 to 552 s) was observed after treatment of rats with DEX. Administration for 5 days of a dose of 10 microg/kg DEX (which was inactive when given as a single injection) resulted again in a selective inhibition of IL-1beta-induced leukocyte emigration, without effect on cell adhesion. These data demonstrate a preferential susceptibility of the leukocyte emigration process to the inhibitory action of DEX.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology*
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-1 / pharmacology
  • Leukocytes / cytology
  • Leukocytes / drug effects*
  • Microscopy
  • Platelet Activating Factor / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Splanchnic Circulation*


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Interleukin-1
  • Platelet Activating Factor
  • Dexamethasone