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Br J Anaesth. 2011 Oct;107(4):559-66. doi: 10.1093/bja/aer202. Epub 2011 Jul 18.

α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist GTS-21 attenuates ventilator-induced tumour necrosis factor-α production and lung injury.

Author information

1
Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Geert Grooteplein 10, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands. m.kox@ic.umcn.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mechanical ventilation (MV) induces an inflammatory response that can lead to lung injury. The vagus nerve can limit the inflammatory response through the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. We evaluated the effects of stimulation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway with the selective partial α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) agonist GTS-21 on inflammation and lung injury induced by MV using clinically relevant ventilator settings. Furthermore, we investigated whether altering endogenous cholinergic signalling, by administration of the non-specific nAChR antagonist mecamylamine and the peripherally acting acetylcholinesterase inhibitor neostigmine, modulates the MV-induced inflammatory response.

METHODS:

C57BL6 mice were injected i.p. with either the selective α7nAChR agonist GTS-21 (8 mg kg(-1)), the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor neostigmine (80 μg kg(-1)), the nAChR antagonist mecamylamine (1 mg kg(-1)), or a placebo; followed by 4 h of MV (8 ml kg(-1), 1.5 cm H(2)O PEEP).

RESULTS:

MV resulted in release of cytokines in plasma and lungs compared with unventilated mice. Lung and plasma levels of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, but not of interleukin-10, were lower in GTS-21-treated animals compared with placebo (P<0.05). In addition, GTS-21 lowered the alveolar-arterial gradient, indicating improved lung function (P=0.04). Neither neostigmine nor mecamylamine had an effect on MV-induced inflammation or lung function.

CONCLUSIONS:

MV with clinically relevant ventilator settings results in pulmonary and systemic inflammation. Stimulation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway with GTS-21 attenuates MV-induced release of TNF-α, which was associated with reduced lung injury. Modulation of endogenous cholinergic signalling did not affect the MV-induced inflammatory response. Selective stimulation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway may represent new treatment options for MV-induced lung injury.

PMID:
21771746
DOI:
10.1093/bja/aer202
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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