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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1991 May;143(5 Pt 1):1102-9.

Acute lung injury induced by phospholipase A2. Structural and functional changes.

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Department of Medicine, St. Michael's Hospitals, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


On the basis of the observation that serum levels of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) are elevated in pancreatitis and systemic sepsis, and the association of these conditions with the subsequent development of acute lung injury, the present investigation examined the structural and physiologic consequences of intratracheal administration of PLA2 to adult male rats. Rats received direct intratracheal instillation of either control vehicle or 40,000 units/kg of PLA2 repurified from Naja naja venom. Animals treated with PLA2 showed higher cumulative mortality (33% versus 0%, n = 79; p less than 0.01) than did their control littermates. The PLA2-treated animals showed histologic evidence of acute lung injury characterized by interstitial and alveolar edema, accumulation of inflammatory cells, and alveolar wall thickening, which reached maximal severity 48 h after enzyme instillation. Forty-eight hours after PLA2 administration experimental animals had lower arterial oxygen tensions (73.9 +/- 7.66 mm Hg versus 96.7 +/- 2.52 mm Hg, mean +/- SEM; p less than 0.01), higher alveolar-arterial oxygen gradients (35.3 +/- 6.3 mm Hg versus 18.8 +/- 1.42 mm Hg, p less than 0.01), and higher wet-dry lung weight ratios (5.08 +/- 0.26, mean +/- SEM, n = 7 versus 3.29 +/- 0.08, n = 3; p less than 0.002) than did control animals. Lung lavage from experimental animals 48 h after PLA2 instillation showed increased total cell counts [(26.6 +/- 5.04) x 10(6) cells versus (4.69 +/- 1.48) x 10(6) cells; p less than 0.01], an increased percentage of neutrophils (34.2 +/- 4.6% versus 1.25 +/- 0.25%, mean +/- SEM; p less than 0.01), and increased protein concentrations in lavage fluid (0.38 +/- 0.06 mg/ml, mean +/- SEM, n = 4 versus 0.27 +/- 0.02 mg/ml, n = 5; p less than 0.05). The histologic and physiologic abnormalities had largely resolved by 240 h. These results suggest that PLA2 may be a potent mediator of lung inflammation and that intratracheal administration of PLA2 to adult rats may provide a useful experimental model of acute lung injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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