Sufentanil postoperative analgesia reduce the increase of T helper 17 (Th17) cells and FoxP3 +regulatory T (Treg) cells in rat hepatocellular carcinoma surgical model: A randomised animal study

Yanhua Peng, Jinfeng Yang, Duo Guo, Chumei Zheng, Huiping Sun, Qinya Zhang, Shuangfa Zou, Yanping Zhang, Ke Luo, Keith A. Candiotti

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Background: Surgery-related pain and opioids might exacerbate immune defenses in immunocompromised cancer patients which might affect postoperativd overall survival. Sufentanil is a good postoperative pain control drug,the present study aimed to figure out whether it effect T cell immunity in rat hepatocellular carcinoma surgical model. Methods: A rat hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) models was established by N-nitrosodiethylamine. Forty-eight of them were randomly divided into 3 equal groups: surgery without postoperative analgesia (Group C), surgery with morphine postoperative analgesia (Group M), surgery with sufentanil postoperative analgesia (Group S). Each animal underwent a standard left hepatolobectomy, and intraperitoneally implanted with osmotic minipumps filled with sufentanil, morphine or normal saline according to the different group. The food and water consumptions, body weight changes, locomotor activity and mechanical pain threshold (MPT) were observed. The ratio of CD4+/CD8+, proportions of Th1, Th2, Th17 and Treg cells in blood were detected using flow cytometry. The liver function and the rats' survival situation of each group were observed. Results: The food and water consumption, locomotor activity and MPT of group C declined than those of group S and M on d1, d2, d3 (P < 0.05). The CD4+/CD8+ ratio and the proportion of Th1 cells were significantly higher while the proportion of Th2, Th17 and Treg cells were significantly lower in group S and group M compared with group C. The rats of group S have higher CD4+/CD8+ ratio on d3, while lower proportion of Treg cells on d7 compared with group M. The plasma ALT and AST values in group C were significantly higher than that of group S and group M on both d3 and d7. There were not significant differences in mortality rate between 3 groups. Conclusions: Sufentanil and morphine postoperative analgesia in HCC rats accepted hepatectomy could relieve postoperative pain, promote the recovery of liver function after surgery, alleviate the immunosuppressive effect of pain. Furthermore, Compared to morphine, sufentanil might have a slighter effect on CD4+/CD8+ ratio and Treg frequencies. Therefore, sufentanil postoperative analgesia is better than morphine in HCC hepatectomy rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number01129
JournalBMC Anesthesiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 26 2020


  • Postoperative analgesia
  • Sufentanil
  • Th17
  • Treg

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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