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Intensive Care Med. 2007 Mar;33(3):503-10. Epub 2007 Jan 12.

Inhaled nitric oxide increases endothelial permeability in Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia.

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EA 2689, Faculté de Médecine de Lille, Université de Lille II, 59045, Lille Cedex, France.



Pneumonia is a frequent cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a leading pathogen in nosocomial pneumonia. The management of ARDS remains a major problem, and only a limited number of options can improve the oxygenation. Inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) has been widely used, although this molecule is a free radical potentially harmful through the generation of toxic radical derivatives. The goal of our study was to assess the consequences of iNO (10 ppm) in a rat model of P. aeruginosa-induced lung injury.


The animals were exposed for 24 h to iNO after instillation of the pathogen. Distal alveolar fluid clearance (DAFC) and epithelial and endothelial permeability were measured with a double flux of radio-labeled albumin.


DAFC and epithelial permeability were increased in pneumonia but not influenced by iNO. In contrast, endothelial permeability was statistically significantly higher in the pneumonic animals exposed to iNO than in the pneumonic group without iNO (0.24+/-0.03 vs 0.47+/-0.1, p<0.05). This increase was not related to the production of nitrate/nitrite, nor to the increase of the inflammatory response evaluated by cytokine levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-10). The alveolar recruitment of polymorphonuclear neutrophils was comparable in the pneumonic group exposed to iNO and the pneumonic group without iNO.


iNO increases the endothelial permeability in P. aeruginosa pneumonia. The mechanism is not related to the production of nitrate/nitrite or to a greater inflammatory response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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