• Studies of neutrophil migration in heterogenous groups of septic patients have reported elevated, normal, and depressed neutrophil mobility. This experiment, conducted in a standardized murine population, measured neutrophil migration under agarose during the course of a chronic intra-abdominal abscess initiated by cecal ligation. Compared with both control (unoperated) and sham celiotomy mice, those mice with an abdominal abscess showed elevations of 22% and 14% of directed and random migration, respectively, at 48 hours. They had 30% to 40% decreases in these functions at days 4 through 10. Murine neutrophil migratory responses during the course of an intra-abdominal abscess consisted therefore of an early elevation followed by a prolonged depression. Such a biphasic response could underlie the variable findings of neutrophil studies in septic patients. This model could be further applied to the study of the effects of chemotherapy and immunologic adjuvants on abscess course and neutrophil function, as well as to the study of the mechanisms of neutrophil response to sepsis.
(Arch Surg 1986;121:797-799)