Adrenocortical response and regional T-lymphocyte activation patterns following minimally invasive surgery in a rat model

Surg Endosc. 1998 Mar;12(3):236-40. doi: 10.1007/s004649900642.


Background: Laparoscopic surgery is associated with less tissue trauma and postoperative pain as well as a more rapid recovery than open surgery. We hypothesized that these factors may result in less immune impairment following laparoscopic surgery.

Methods: We measured mitogen-induced surface interleukin-2 receptor (IL2R) expression and lymphocyte proliferation in CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes as well as serum corticosterone levels in rats 24 h following open (OP) and laparoscopic (LAP) fundoplication.

Results: Serum corticosterone levels were lower in LAP vs OP rats (p = 0.02). CD4+ IL2R expression was higher in the blood, but not in the spleen, in LAP vs OP animals (p = 0.02). CD8+ IL2R expression was similar in both groups. Mitogen-induced lymphocyte proliferation was no different in the blood but decreased in the spleen in LAP vs OP rats (p = 0.03).

Conclusions: Compared to open surgery, laparoscopic fundoplication in the rat results in lower adrenocortical hormone levels and better-preserved T-helper-cell activation in the blood. Lymphocyte proliferation is suppressed in the spleen 24 h after laparoscopic surgery. Minimally invasive surgery may better preserve cell-mediated immunity in the early postoperative period.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Corticosterone / blood
  • Fundoplication
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
  • Postoperative Period
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Corticosterone