• Major mechanical trauma causes a severe suppression of B-cell differentiation and IgM synthesis in mononuclear leukocyte cultures. In this study the effect of recombinant lymphokines and physiologic T-cell supernatants on B-cell differentiation was investigated. The influence of potentially suppressing monocytes and positive regulatory T-lymphocytes was eliminated using purified B-cell cultures. Antigen-induced IgM synthesis was reduced on all days following trauma. Addition of recombinant interleukin 2 or T-cell supernatant enhanced but did not restore IgM synthesis. Although recombinant interleukin 4 and recombinant interferon gamma had a suppressive effect on IgM synthesis in controls, both lymphokines were ineffective in the patients' IgM synthesis. Spontaneous IgG production in patients was dramatically elevated, and the addition of lymphokines did not show any enhancing effect in patients. These results demonstrate that the IgM/IgG shift observed in peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures also exists in purified B-cell cultures. Interleukin 2 partially restored suppressed IgM synthesis, while interleukin 4 and interferon gamma were ineffective in patients' B-cell differentiation. Interleukin 2 was the most effective lymphokine for the induction of Ig synthesis. These results lead us to conclude that the altered B-cell metabolism might also be responsible for the suppression of humoral immunity following trauma.
(Arch Surg. 1989;124:1437-1442)