Purpose: Although the effects of the colloid dextran 70 on induction of anaphylactoid reactions or reticulo-endothelial phagocytosis have been examined previously, its effects on specific cell-mediated immunity after trauma-hemorrhage shock remain unknown. Methods: Nonheparinized C3H/HeN mice underwent a laparotomy, were bled, and then maintained at a blood pressure of 35 mm Hg for 60 minutes. Then they were resuscitated with either 4 × the shed blood volume as lactated Ringer's solution (LRS) or 2 × LRS + 1 × dextran 70. Control mice underwent all operative protocols but were neither hemorrhaged, nor resuscitated. At 2 or 24 hours posthemorrhage, serum, splenocytes (SPL), and peritoneal macrophages (pMø, splenic Mo (sMø) were obtained. Bioassays were used to determine interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-3, IL-6, and SPL proliferation. Results: Trauma-hemorrhage markedly depressed lymphokine release, splenocyte proliferation, and IL-6 release at 2 hours after the insult. The combination of LRS + dextran did not restore lymphocyte functions, but also did not further suppress them. The release of IL-6 by pMø and sMø at 2 and 24 hours after dextran infusion and serum IL-6 remained at the same level as in LRS-treated animals. Conclusions: The combination of LRS and colloid dextran 70 does not adversely affect ex vivo cell-mediated immune functions during the first 24 hours after its administration after trauma-hemorrhage. Thus, from the immunological standpoint, dextran is a safe resuscitation adjunct. © 1994.