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Shock. 2011 Nov;36(5):466-70. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e3182336b45.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is associated with increased lung cytokines and asymmetric dimethylarginine compared with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 610 Harborside Drive, Galveston, TX 77555, USA.


The objective of the study was to investigate pulmonary responses to Pseudomonas aeruginosa and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) using ovine and mice models of sepsis with emphasis on lung cytokine expression, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) concentration, and the arginase pathway. Sheep were instilled with either MRSA, P. aeruginosa, or saline under deep anesthesia; mechanically ventilated; resuscitated with fluid; and killed after 24 h. Mice were instilled with either MRSA, P. aeruginosa, or saline under deep anesthesia and killed after 8 h. Lungs were assessed for ADMA concentration, arginase activity, oxidative stress, and cytokine expression, and plasma was assessed for nitrate/nitrite concentrations. The severity of lung injury was more pronounced in P. aeruginosa sepsis compared with MRSA. The significant changes in sheep lung function after P. aeruginosa sepsis were associated with significantly increased ADMA concentrations and arginase activity compared with MRSA. However, the plasma concentration of nitrites and nitrates were significantly increased in MRSA sepsis compared with P. aeruginosa sepsis. In the mice model, P. aeruginosa significantly increased lung cytokine expression (IL-1 and IL-13), protein oxidation, and arginase activity compared with MRSA. Our data suggest that the greater expression of cytokines and ADMA concentrations may be responsible for severity of acute lung injury in P. aeruginosa sepsis. The lack of arginase activity may explain the greater nitric oxide production in MRSA sepsis.

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