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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2010 Apr;29(4):329-37. doi: 10.1177/0960327110361760. Epub 2010 Feb 9.

A crucial role of nitric oxide in acute lung injury secondary to the acute necrotizing pancreatitis.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, Affiliated Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100050, China.


To investigate the role of nitric oxide (NO) in acute lung inflammation and injury secondary to acute necrotizing pancreatitis (ANP), 5% sodium taurocholate was retrogradely injected into the biliopancreatic duct of rats to ANP model. These ANP rats were given L-Arginine (L-Arg, 100 mg/kg), L-NAME (10 mg/kg), or their combination by intraperitoneal injection 30 min prior to ANP induction. At 1, 3, 6, and 12 hours after ANP induction, lung NO production, and inducible NO synthase (iNOS) expression were measured. Lung histopathological changes, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) protein concentration, proinflammatory mediators tumor necrotic factor alpha (TNF-alpha), and lung tissue myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity were examined. Results showed that NO production and iNOS mRNA expression in alveolar macrophages (AMs) were significantly increased along with significant increases in lung histological abnormalities and BAL proteins in the ANP group, all of which were further enhanced by pretreatment with L-Arg and attenuated by pretreatment with L-NAME, respectively. These markers were slightly attenuated by pretreatment with combination of L-Arg + L-NAME, suggesting that NO is required for initiating the acute lung damage in ANP rats, and also that L-Arg-enhanced lung injury is mediated by its NO generation rather than its direct effect. MPO activity and TNF-alpha expression in lung were upregulated in the ANP rats and further enhanced by pretreatment with L-Arg and attenuated by pretreatment with L-NAME, respectively. These results suggest that overproduction of NO mediated by iNOS in the lung is required for the acute lung inflammation and damage secondary to ANP.

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