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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2012 Jan 1;302(1):L160-6. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00360.2010. Epub 2011 Oct 14.

Leukocyte-derived extracellular superoxide dismutase does not contribute to airspace EC-SOD after interstitial pulmonary injury.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


The antioxidant enzyme extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) is abundant in the lung and is known to limit inflammation and fibrosis following numerous pulmonary insults. Previous studies have reported a loss of full-length EC-SOD from the pulmonary parenchyma with accumulation of proteolyzed EC-SOD in the airspace after an interstitial lung injury. However, following airspace only inflammation, EC-SOD accumulates in the airspace without a loss from the interstitium, suggesting this antioxidant may be released from an extrapulmonary source. Because leukocytes are known to express EC-SOD and are prevalent in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) after injury, it was hypothesized that these cells may transport and release EC-SOD into airspaces. To test this hypothesis, C57BL/6 wild-type and EC-SOD knockout mice were irradiated and transplanted with bone marrow from either wild-type mice or EC-SOD knockout mice. Bone marrow chimeric mice were then intratracheally treated with asbestos and killed 3 and 7 days later. At both 3 and 7 days following asbestos injury, mice without pulmonary EC-SOD expression but with EC-SOD in infiltrating and resident leukocytes did not have detectable levels of EC-SOD in the airspaces. In addition, leukocyte-derived EC-SOD did not significantly lessen inflammation or early stage fibrosis that resulted from asbestos injury in the lungs. Although it is not influential in the asbestos-induced interstitial lung injury model, EC-SOD is still known to be present in leukocytes and may play an influential role in attenuating pneumonias and other inflammatory diseases.

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