The Importance of Polymorphonuclear Leukocytes in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Superoxide Anion Production and Lung Injury: Ex Vivo Observation in Rat Lungs
The purpose of this study is to determine if the polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) is a major causative agent for lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced lung injury and responsible for the excess production of superoxide anion in the lung. We measured superoxide anion production from the lung and pulmonary capillary permeability in rats with and without PMN depletion. The superoxide anion production from the lung was measured using a purpose-built ex vivo chemiluminescence apparatus. Pulmonary capillary permeability was evaluated by the Evans blue dye extravasation method. PMN sequestration was determined by counting PMNs in histologic tissue specimens using microscopy. All rats received 3 mg/kg LPS intravenously. Examinations were undertaken at 2, 6, and 12 h after the LPS injection. The PMN-depleted group received cyclophosphamide 4 days before the LPS injection, which resulted in a PMN count of less than 200 cells/μl. In rats without PMN depletion, Evans blue dye extravasation increased significantly at 12 h after the LPS injection; PMN sequestration increased at 2, 6, and 12 h after the LPS injection; and superoxide anion production increased at 6 h and remained elevated at 12 h after the LPS injection. The increased permeability, PMN sequestration, and superoxide anion production were not seen in the PMN-depleted group. The contribution of the xanthine/xanthine oxidase system and alveolar macrophages to the observed superoxide anion production was negligible. We conclude that, in rats, the PMN is a major causative agent in LPS-induced lung injury and is responsible for the excess production of superoxide anion in the lung.
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