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Inhal Toxicol. 2008 Jul;20(9):783-93. doi: 10.1080/08958370802007841 .

Acute lung injury induced by chlorine inhalation in C57BL/6 and FVB/N mice.

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Section of Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care and Environmental Medicine, Department of Medicine, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, Louisiana, USA.


Humans may be exposed to chlorine gas via accidental or intentional release, and effective countermeasures for the resulting lung injury are lacking. To develop a model in which therapeutic measures could be evaluated, lung injury induced by chlorine inhalation in two inbred mouse strains was examined. C57BL/6 and FVB/N mice were exposed for 1.1 h to varying doses of chlorine (197-289 ppm-h) and were evaluated for indices of lung injury at different times after exposure (6-48 h). Chlorine induced increases in lung weight that were more evident in FVB/N mice than in C57BL/6 mice. Both strains exhibited sloughing of airway epithelium observed within 6 h after exposure. As judged by Ly-6G immunostaining, chlorine exposure caused widespread neutrophil influx into the lung parenchyma at 6 h followed by a clustering of neutrophils around damaged airways by 24 h. High levels of cellular proliferation revealed by Ki-67 staining were observed in airway epithelium 48 h after exposure. Lavage fluid parameters showed consistent trends in both strains. Lavage fluid protein content was elevated throughout the times examined. Lavage fluid neutrophils were significantly increased beginning 12 h after exposure and were highest at 48 h. The concentration of the neutrophil chemoattractant KC peaked 6 h after exposure and was near baseline by 48 h. In summary, chlorine inhalation resulted in lung injury characterized by edema, epithelial cell death, and neutrophilic inflammation in C57BL/6 and FVB/N mice. Characterization of such responses in these mice will allow testing of therapeutic agents to treat chlorine-induced lung injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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