Gene Therapy for Acute Lung Injury

  • Serpil Erzurum
  • Patricia Lemarchand


The adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is an acute clinical illness characterized by non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema and refractory hypoxemia. Injury to the alveolar-capillary barrier and lung inflammation lead to intrapulmonary shunting of blood, surfactant depletion, and pulmonary vascular obstruction. Although the exact incidence of ARDS is unknown, there is little doubt that tens of thousands of patients develop this syndrome annually in the United States (1). The mortality associated with ARDS exceeds 50% in most reports (1). Numerous mediators contribute to the pathologic response, and genes encoding antioxidant enzymes, anti-inflammatory cytokines, antiproteases and other protective proteins have been identified to treat acute injury in the lung. The most direct approach would be to systematically administer protective proteins directly. However, there are several potential advantages of giving therapeutic genes rather than giving proteins: 1) transfer of genes encoding intracellular proteins produces higher levels of therapeutic proteins within the cell, 2) gene transfer could be cell specific with modified vectors, 3) gene transfer may have less risk of antigenicity depending upon the delivery systems chosen and 4) gene transfer may be less expensive than giving purified or recombinant proteins.


Nitric Oxide Nitric Oxide Gene Therapy Acute Lung Injury Lung Epithelial Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Serpil Erzurum
    • 1
  • Patricia Lemarchand
    • 2
  1. 1.Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and Cancer BiologyLerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Faculte de Medecine Necker-Enfants MaladesINSERM E00-16ParisFrance

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