High-pressure oxygen (HPO) therapy for Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections of burn wounds has not been as effective as in vitro studies predicted. Mitigation of HPO toxicity for P. aeruginosa by nutrients present at the burn site could explain the lack of in vivo success. Alternatively, HPO-induced depression of host defense mechanisms could negate beneficial effects arising from HPOs known toxicity for P. aeruginosa. Accordingly, mouse peritoneal exudate cells (PEC), preincubated for 24 h in 1 atm of air-CO(2), were used to study the in vitro effects of HPO or air-CO(2) on phagocytosis of P. aeruginosa or sheep erythrocytes (SRBC). Subsequent 2-h exposures of PEC to increasing numbers of bacteria, in an air-CO(2) atmosphere, decreased the percentage of bacteria cleared as well as PEC viability. Similar exposures of PEC to bacteria in an HPO atmosphere prevented the loss of PEC viability and increased bacterial clearance. In control experiments, increasing the number of SRBC relative to PEC decreased the percentage of SRBC cleared without decreasing PEC viability, as determined under air-CO(2); short (2 h) exposure to HPO did not affect SRBC clearance. Microscopic examination of PEC indicated that a 24-h preincubation in HPO decreased the percentage of PEC which could ingest SRBC during subsequent experimental exposures (2 h) to air-CO(2) or HPO. These data suggest that short periods of exposure to HPO promote the ability of PEC to clear pseudomonads by adversely affecting the bacteria. This in turn prevents a pseudomonad-induced depression of PEC viability and function. In contrast, prolonged HPO exposure may be detrimental to phagocytic activity.

Weislow, Pakman, , , , , , , (1974). Inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by hyperbaric oxygen: interaction with mouse peritoneal exudate cells. Infection and immunity, 1974 Sep;10(3):546-52. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4214774