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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1994 Feb;76(2):941-5.

Xanthine oxidase promotes neutrophil sequestration but not injury in hyperoxic lungs.

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Webb-Waring Institute for Biomedical Research, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80262.


Neutrophil accumulation in alveolar spaces is a conspicuous finding in hyperoxia-exposed lungs. We hypothesized that xanthine oxidase (XO)-derived oxidants contribute to retention of neutrophils in hyperoxic lungs. Rats were subjected to normobaric hyperoxia (100% O2) for 48 h, and lungs were assessed for neutrophil sequestration (morphometry and lavage cell counts) and injury (lavage albumin levels and lung weights). In rats exposed to hyperoxia, we found increased (P < 0.05) lung neutrophil retention, lavage albumin levels, and lung weights compared with normoxia-exposed control rats. Suppression of XO activity by pretreatment with allopurinol decreased (P < 0.05) lung neutrophil retention but increased (P < 0.05) lavage albumin concentrations and lung weights in hyperoxic rats. Allopurinol treatment had no effect (P > 0.05) on the numbers of macrophages or lymphocytes recoverable by lung lavage. Depletion of XO activity by an independent method, tungsten feeding, also decreased (P < 0.05) lung lavage neutrophil counts and increased (P < 0.05) lavage albumin concentrations. We conclude that XO may be involved in lung neutrophil retention but not lung injury during exposure to hyperoxia.

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