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1.  Combined radiation and burn injury results in exaggerated early pulmonary inflammation 
Radiation research  2013;180(3):276-283.
Events such as a nuclear meltdown accident or nuclear attack have potential for severe radiation injuries. Radiation injury frequently occurs in combination with other forms of trauma, most often burns. Thus far, combined injury studies have focused mainly on skin wound healing and damage to the gut. Since both radiation exposure and remote burn have pulmonary consequences, we examined the early effects of combined injury on the lung. C57BL/6 male mice were subjected to 5 Gy of total body irradiation followed by a 15% total body surface area scald burn. Lungs from surviving animals were examined for evidence of inflammation and pneumonitis. At 48 hours post-injury, pathology of the lungs from combined injury mice showed greater inflammation compared to all other treatment groups, with marked red blood cell and leukocyte congestion of the pulmonary vasculature. There was excessive leukocyte accumulation, primarily neutrophils, in the vasculature and interstitium, with occasional cells in the alveolar space. At 24 and 48 hours post-injury, myeloperoxidase levels in lungs of mice given combined injury were elevated compared to all other treatment groups (p<0.01), confirming histological evidence of neutrophil accumulation. Pulmonary levels of the neutrophil chemoattractant KC (CXCL1) were 3 times above that of either injury alone (p<0.05). Further, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1, CCL2) was increased 2-fold and 3-fold compared to burn injury or radiation injury, respectively (p<0.05). Together, these data suggest that combined radiation and burn injury augments early pulmonary congestion and inflammation.. Currently, countermeasures for this unique type of injury are extremely limited. Further research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms behind the synergistic effects of combined injury in order to develop appropriate treatments.
PMCID: PMC4011563  PMID: 23899376
radiation injury; burn injury; severe combined injury; cytokines; pneumonitis
2.  Decreased Pulmonary Inflammation After Ethanol Exposure and Burn Injury in Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 Knockout Mice 
Clinical and laboratory evidence suggests that alcohol consumption dysregulates immune function. Burn patients who consume alcohol before their injuries demonstrate higher rates of morbidity and mortality, including acute respiratory distress syndrome, than patients without alcohol at the time of injury. Our laboratory observed higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines and leukocyte infiltration in the lungs of mice after ethanol exposure and burn injury than with either insult alone. To understand the mechanism of the increased pulmonary inflammatory response in mice treated with ethanol and burn injury, we investigated the role of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1. Wild-type and ICAM-1 knockout (KO) mice were treated with vehicle or ethanol and subsequently given a sham or burn injury. Twenty-four hours postinjury, lungs were harvested and analyzed for indices of inflammation. Higher numbers of neutrophils were observed in the lungs of wild-type mice after burn and burn with ethanol treatment. This increase in pulmonary inflammatory cell accumulation was significantly lower in the KO mice. In addition, levels of KC, interleukin-1β, and interleukin-6 in the lung were decreased in the ICAM-1 KO mice after ethanol exposure and burn injury. Interestingly, no differences were observed in serum or lung tissue content of soluble ICAM-1 24 hours postinjury. These data suggest that upregulation of adhesion molecules such as ICAM-1 on the vascular endothelium may play a critical role in the excessive inflammation seen after ethanol exposure and burn injury.
PMCID: PMC3057401  PMID: 20616655
Shock (Augusta, Ga.)  2011;35(4):403-410.
Pulmonary infections are a major cause of mortality in the critically ill burn patient. Alcohol consumption before burn increases the risk of pulmonary infection. Previously, we have shown an elevated mortality and lung pathology in mice given ethanol before burn and intratracheal infection relative to controls. Here we examine the cellular composition at 24 and 48 h in the circulation and the alveoli of infected mice given alcohol and burn. At 24 h after injury, blood neutrophils obtained from mice exposed to ethanol before burn and infection were 2-fold above those of the experimental controls (P < 0.05). By 48 h, the number of circulating neutrophils decreased and was comparable to levels found in untreated animals. Moreover, at 24 h, bronchoalveolar lavage cells obtained from all treatment groups had similar frequencies and contained 80% neutrophils regardless of treatment. In contrast, the following day, neutrophils were elevated 2-fold only in the alveoli of infected burn animals and 5-fold when ethanol preceded the injury (P < 0.05). These data were confirmed by immunofluorescence microscopy using a neutrophil-specific marker (P < 0.05). Levels of neutrophil chemoattractants, KC and macrophage inflammatory protein 2, and the cytokine, IL-1β, were 2-fold greater in the lungs of infected mice given burn, regardless of ethanol exposure, relative to infected sham injured animals (P < 0.05). Like the number of neutrophils, by the second day after injury, KC and macrophage inflammatory protein 2 remained 5-fold higher in the animals given ethanol, burn, and infection, when compared with other groups (P < 0.05). A similar pattern was seen for pulmonary levels of IL-1β (P < 0.05). Additionally, a reduction in neutrophil apoptosis was observed at the 24-h time point in infected mice exposed to ethanol and burn (P < 0.05). Targeting proinflammatory mediators in mice exposed to ethanol before burn and infection may help alleviate prolonged neutrophil accumulation in the lungs.
PMCID: PMC3319720  PMID: 21063239
Alcohol; inflammation; KC; macrophage inflammatory protein 2; cytokines; apoptosis; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; acute lung injury
4.  Gene deletion of P-Selectin and ICAM-1 does not inhibit neutrophil infiltration into peritoneal cavity following cecal ligation-puncture 
Neutrophil infiltration is one of the critical cellular components of an inflammatory response during peritonitis. The adhesion molecules, P-selectin and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, mediate neutrophil-endothelial cell interactions and the subsequent neutrophil transendothelial migration during the inflammatory response. Despite very strong preclinical data, recent clinical trials failed to show a protective effect of anti-adhesion therapy, suggesting that the length of injury might be a critical factor in neutrophil infiltration. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the role of P-selectin and ICAM-1 in neutrophil infiltration into the peritoneal cavity during early and late phases of peritonitis.
Peritonitis was induced in both male wild-type and P-selectin/ICAM-1 double deficient (P/I null) mice by cecal ligation-puncture (CLP). Peripheral blood and peritoneal lavage were collected at 6 and 24 hours after CLP. The total leukocyte and neutrophil contents were determined, and neutrophils were identified with the aid of in situ immunohistochemical staining. Comparisons between groups were made by applying ANOVA and student t-test analysis.
CLP induced a severe inflammatory response associated with a significant leukopenia in both wild-type and P/I null mice. Additionally, CLP caused a significant neutrophil infiltration into the peritoneal cavity that was detected in both groups of mice. However, neutrophil infiltration in the P/I null mice at 6 hours of CLP was significantly lower than the corresponding wild-type mice, which reached a similar magnitude at 24 hours of CLP. In contrast, in peritonitis induced by intraperitoneal inoculation of 2% glycogen, no significant difference in neutrophil infiltration was observed between the P/I null and wild-type mice at 6 hours of peritonitis.
The data suggest that alternative adhesion pathway(s) independent of P-selectin and ICAM-1 can participate in neutrophil migration during peritonitis and that the mode of stimuli and duration of the injury modulate the neutrophil infiltration.
PMCID: PMC503395  PMID: 15274743
peritonitis; sepsis; transgenic mice; adhesion molecules
5.  Decreased Pulmonary Inflammation Following Ethanol and Burn Injury in Mice Deficient in TLR4 but not TLR2 Signaling 
Clinical and laboratory evidence suggests that alcohol consumption prior to burn injury leads to dysregulated immune function and subsequent higher rates of morbidity and mortality. Our laboratory previously observed higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and leukocyte infiltration in the lungs of mice following ethanol and burn injury. To understand the mechanism of the increased inflammatory response, we looked at different signaling initiators of inflammation including toll-like receptors 2 and 4 (TLR2 and 4) pathways.
Wild-type, TLR2, and TLR4 knockout mice were treated with vehicle or a single binge dose of ethanol (1.11 g/kg) and subsequently given a sham or burn injury. Twenty-four hours postinjury, systemic and pulmonary levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines were quantified, and differences in neutrophil infiltration were determined by histological examination.
Higher numbers of neutrophils were observed in the lungs of wild-type mice following the combined insult of ethanol and burn injury relative to either injury alone. This increase in leukocyte accumulation was absent in the TLR4 knockout mice. Circulating levels of IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α were also elevated in wild-type mice but not in TLR4 knockout mice. Consistent with these findings, pulmonary levels of KC and IL-6 were increased in wild-type mice following burn and ethanol compared to burn injury alone as well as to their TLR4 knockout counterparts. In contrast, TLR2 knockout mice displayed similar levels, to wild-type mice, of neutrophil infiltration as well as IL-6 and KC in the lung.
These data suggest that TLR4 signaling is a crucial contributory component in the exuberant inflammation after ethanol and burn injury. However, TLR2 does not appear to play a vital role in the aberrant pulmonary inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3063502  PMID: 20608903
Lungs; Toll-Like Receptor; Inflammation; Ethanol; Burn
6.  Neutrophil Elastase Is Needed for Neutrophil Emigration into Lungs in Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury 
Mechanical ventilation, often required to maintain normal gas exchange in critically ill patients, may itself cause lung injury. Lung-protective ventilatory strategies with low tidal volume have been a major success in the management of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Volutrauma causes mechanical injury and induces an acute inflammatory response. Our objective was to determine whether neutrophil elastase (NE), a potent proteolytic enzyme in neutrophils, would contribute to ventilator-induced lung injury. NE-deficient (NE−/−) and wild-type mice were mechanically ventilated at set tidal volumes (10, 20, and 30 ml/kg) with 0 cm H2O of positive end-expiratory pressure for 3 hours. Lung physiology and markers of lung injury were measured. Neutrophils from wild-type and NE−/− mice were also used for in vitro studies of neutrophil migration, intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 cleavage, and endothelial cell injury. Surprisingly, in the absence of NE, mice were not protected, but developed worse ventilator-induced lung injury despite having lower numbers of neutrophils in alveolar spaces. The possible explanation for this finding is that NE cleaves ICAM-1, allowing neutrophils to egress from the endothelium. In the absence of NE, impaired neutrophil egression and prolonged contact between neutrophils and endothelial cells leads to tissue injury and increased permeability. NE is required for neutrophil egression from the vasculature into the alveolar space, and interfering with this process leads to neutrophil-related endothelial cell injury.
PMCID: PMC2438448  PMID: 18276796
neutrophil elastase; ventilator-induced lung injury; endothelial injury; emigration
7.  The Role of CXCR2 in Cigarette Smoke-Induced Lung Inflammation 
It has been hypothesized that the destruction of lung tissue observed in smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema is mediated by neutrophils recruited to the lungs by smoke exposure. This study investigated the role of the chemokine receptor CXCR2 in mediating neutrophilic inflammation in the lungs of mice acutely exposed to cigarette smoke. Exposure to dilute mainstream cigarette smoke for 1 hour, twice per day for 3 days induced acute inflammation in the lungs of C57BL/6 mice, with increased neutrophils and neutrophil chemotactic CXC chemokines MIP-2 and KC. Treatment with SCH-N, an orally active small molecule inhibitor of CXCR2, reduced the influx of neutrophils into the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. Histologic changes were seen, with drug treatment reducing perivascular inflammation and the number of tissue neutrophils. β-glucuronidase activity was reduced in the BAL fluid of mice treated with SCH-N, indicating that the reduction in neutrophils was associated with a reduction in tissue damaging enzymes. Interestingly, while MIP-2 and KC were significantly elevated in the BAL fluid of smoke exposed mice, they were further elevated in mice exposed to smoke and treated with drug. The increase in MIP-2 and KC with drug treatment may be due to the decrease in lung neutrophils which either are not present to bind these chemokines or which fail to provide a feedback signal to other cells that produce these chemokines. Overall, these results demonstrate that inhibiting CXCR2 reduces neutrophilic inflammation and associated lung tissue damage due to acute cigarette smoke exposure.
PMCID: PMC2491909  PMID: 15833762
neutrophil chemokines; emphysema; COPD; MIP-2; KC
8.  Mechanism of neutrophil recruitment to the lung after pulmonary contusion 
Shock (Augusta, Ga.)  2011;35(6):604-609.
Blunt chest trauma resulting in pulmonary contusion is a common but poorly understood injury. We previously demonstrated that lung contusion activates localized and systemic innate immune mechanisms and recruits neutrophils to the injured lung. We hypothesized that the innate immune and inflammatory activation of neutrophils may figure prominently in the response to lung injury. To investigate this, we used a model of pulmonary contusion in the mouse that is similar to that observed clinically in humans and evaluated postinjury lung function and pulmonary neutrophil recruitment. Comparisons were made between injured mice with and without neutrophil depletion. We further examined the role of chemokines and adhesion receptors in neutrophil recruitment to the injured lung. We found that lung injury and resultant physiological dysfunction after contusion was dependent upon the presence of neutrophils in the alveolar space. We show that CXCL1, CXCL2/3, and CXCR2 are involved in neutrophil recruitment to the lung after injury, and that ICAM-1 is locally expressed and actively participates in this process. Injured gp91phox deficient mice showed improved lung function, indicating that oxidant production by neutrophil NADPH oxidase mediates lung dysfunction after contusion. These data suggest that both neutrophil presence and function are required for lung injury after lung contusion.
PMCID: PMC3108153  PMID: 21330942
Neutrophil; pulmonary contusion; inflammation; chemokine; cytokine; mouse model
Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.)  2013;47(3):223-229.
Alcohol consumption leads to an exaggerated inflammatory response after burn injury. Elevated levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in patients are associated with increased morbidity and mortality after injury, and high systemic and pulmonary levels of IL-6 have been observed after the combined insult of ethanol exposure and burn injury. To further investigate the role of IL-6 in the pulmonary inflammatory response, we examined leukocyte infiltration and cytokine and chemokine production in the lungs of wild-type and IL-6 knockout mice given vehicle or ethanol (1.12 g/kg) and subjected to a sham or 15% total body surface area burn injury. Levels of neutrophil infiltration and neutrophil chemoattractants were increased to a similar extent in wild-type and IL-6 knockout mice 24 hours after burn injury. When ethanol exposure preceded the burn injury however, a further increase of these inflammatory markers was seen only in the wild-type mice. Additionally, signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) phosphorylation did not increase in response to ethanol exposure in the IL-6 knockout mice, in contrast to their wild-type counterparts. Visual and imaging analysis of alveolar wall thickness supported these findings and similar results were obtained by blocking IL-6 with antibody. Taken together, our data suggest a causal relationship between IL-6 and the excessive pulmonary inflammation observed after the combined insult of ethanol and burn injury.
PMCID: PMC3617054  PMID: 23462222
lung; neutrophils; cytokines; alcohol; trauma; burn
10.  Induction of CD18-Mediated Passage of Neutrophils by Pasteurella haemolytica in Pulmonary Bronchi and Bronchioles 
Infection and Immunity  1999;67(2):659-663.
Pasteurella haemolytica is an important respiratory pathogen of cattle that incites extensive infiltrates of neutrophils into the lung. In addition to the parenchymal damage caused by factors released by P. haemolytica, neutrophils contribute to the pathologic changes in the lungs. Molecules which mediate neutrophil infiltration into the lungs during P. haemolytica pneumonia are poorly characterized. To determine whether the CD18 family (β2-integrin) of leukocyte adhesion molecules mediates initial passage of neutrophils into the pulmonary bronchi and bronchioles of lungs infected with P. haemolytica, three Holstein calves homozygous for bovine leukocyte adhesion deficiency (BLAD) (CD18-deficient neutrophils), and three age- and breed-matched control calves (normal CD18 expression) were inoculated with P. haemolytica A1 via a fiberoptic bronchoscope and euthanized at 2 h postinoculation. Sections of lung were stained for neutrophils, and the intensity of neutrophilic infiltration was determined by computerized image analysis. Significantly fewer (P < 0.05) neutrophils infiltrated the lumen, epithelium, and adventitia of bronchioles and bronchi in lungs of calves with BLAD compared to normal calves, which had dense infiltrates within these sites at 2 h postinoculation. The reduced infiltration in calves with BLAD occurred despite the presence of an extremely large number of neutrophils in peripheral blood that is typical for these calves. The large number of neutrophils in the blood of calves with BLAD is probably a physiologic response that can occur without microbial colonization, since one calf with BLAD that was raised under germ-free conditions had large numbers of neutrophils in the blood that were similar to those in a calf with BLAD that was raised conventionally. Neutrophil counts in the germ-free and conventionally reared calves with BLAD were much higher than those in the three normal calves raised under germ-free conditions. The work in this study demonstrates that during the initial inflammatory response, neutrophils with normal CD18 expression pass more readily than CD18-deficient neutrophils into the walls and lumen of bronchi and bronchioles. It suggests that CD18 is needed for initial passage through the extensive extracellular matrix of the bronchi and bronchioles. This has potential importance for the development of therapies to direct or inhibit neutrophil infiltration into conducting airways rather than alveolar spaces.
PMCID: PMC96369  PMID: 9916073
11.  Cerebral protection in homozygous null ICAM-1 mice after middle cerebral artery occlusion. Role of neutrophil adhesion in the pathogenesis of stroke. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;97(1):209-216.
Acute neutrophil (PMN) recruitment to postischemic cardiac or pulmonary tissue has deleterious effects in the early reperfusion period, but the mechanisms and effects of neutrophil influx in the pathogenesis of evolving stroke remain controversial. To investigate whether PMNs contribute to adverse neurologic sequelae and mortality after stroke, and to study the potential role of the leukocyte adhesion molecule intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in the pathogenesis of stroke, we used a murine model of transient focal cerebral ischemia consisting of intraluminal middle cerebral artery occlusion for 45 min followed by 22 h of reperfusion. PMN accumulation, monitored by deposition of 111In-labeled PMNs in postischemic cerebral tissue, was increased 2.5-fold in the ipsilateral (infarcted) hemisphere compared with the contralateral (noninfarcted) hemisphere (P < 0.01). Mice immunodepleted of neutrophils before surgery demonstrated a 3.0-fold reduction in infarct volumes (P < 0.001), based on triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining of serial cerebral sections, improved ipsilateral cortical cerebral blood flow (measured by laser Doppler), and reduced neurological deficit compared with controls. In wild-type mice subjected to 45 min of ischemia followed by 22 h of reperfusion, ICAM-1 mRNA was increased in the ipsilateral hemisphere, with immunohistochemistry localizing increased ICAM-1 expression on cerebral microvascular endothelium. The role of ICAM-1 expression in stroke was investigated in homozygous null ICAM-1 mice (ICAM-1 -/-) in comparison with wild-type controls (ICAM-1 +/+). ICAM-1 -/- mice demonstrated a 3.7-fold reduction in infarct volume (P < 0.005), a 35% increase in survival (P < 0.05), and reduced neurologic deficit compared with ICAM-1 +/+ controls. Cerebral blood flow to the infarcted hemisphere was 3.1-fold greater in ICAM-1 -/- mice compared with ICAM-1 +/+ controls (P < 0.01), suggesting an important role for ICAM-1 in the genesis of postischemic cerebral no-reflow. Because PMN-depleted and ICAM-1-deficient mice are relatively resistant to cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury, these studies suggest an important role for ICAM-1-mediated PMN adhesion in the pathophysiology of evolving stroke.
PMCID: PMC507081  PMID: 8550836
12.  Neutrophil sequestration in rat lungs. 
Thorax  1995;50(6):661-667.
BACKGROUND--The transit of neutrophils through the pulmonary microvasculature is prolonged compared with red blood cells and is increased further during cigarette smoking and in exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The increased residence time (sequestration) of neutrophils in the pulmonary capillaries in these conditions may be the first step leading to the accumulation of cells within the lung interstitium and in the bronchoalveolar space, so potentiating lung damage. A rat model has been developed to investigate the factors which may influence neutrophil transit through the lung microvasculature. METHODS--Intratracheal instillation of the heat killed organism Corynebacterium parvum was used to induce an acute neutrophil alveolitis. Neutrophils and red blood cells were isolated from donor rats, labelled with two distinct radioisotopes, and then reinjected into recipient rats to assess their transit through the pulmonary circulation. To ascertain whether peripheral blood neutrophils were minimally altered by the isolation procedure their functional status in vitro was compared with that of inflammatory neutrophils in a number of assays commonly used as descriptors of neutrophil activation. The influence of neutrophil activation on the accumulation of cells in the lungs was assessed by comparing the lung sequestration of control neutrophils, isolated from peripheral blood, with that of inflammatory neutrophils obtained from bronchoalveolar lavage of inflamed rat lungs. Lung sequestration of neutrophils was defined as the fold increase in the ratio of neutrophils labelled with chromium-51 to red blood cells labelled with technetium-99m in lung tissue compared with the same ratio in peripheral blood. RESULTS--Sequestration of peripheral blood neutrophils occurred in control rat lungs as shown by a 17.5 (2.1) fold increase in the ratio of neutrophils to red blood cells in the pulmonary circulation compared with the ratio of these cells in the peripheral circulation. When inflammatory neutrophils, obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage from C parvum-treated animals, were injected into control rats, the increase was 90.6 (11.0) fold. Induction of an inflammatory response in the lung tissue of the recipient rat also caused an increase in the sequestration of control neutrophils compared with the same cells in control rat lungs which was, however, less marked than when inflammatory neutrophils were used (34.7 (4.7) fold). The mean (SE) pressure developed on filtration of inflammatory neutrophils in vitro through a millipore filter (7.53 (0.2) cm H2O) was greater than that of peripheral blood neutrophils (1.18 (0.2) cm H2O). Increased filtration pressure indicates a decrease in cell deformability and suggests that this may be a contributory factor to the increased sequestration of inflammatory neutrophils in the pulmonary vasculature. CONCLUSIONS--This study shows that there is sequestration of neutrophils in the pulmonary vasculature in normal rat lungs which increases in acute lung inflammation and when inflammatory neutrophils are injected into control animals. In this model changes in the neutrophil, such as cell deformability, may have a more important role in inducing increased neutrophil sequestration than the inflammatory response in the lungs.
PMCID: PMC1021268  PMID: 7638810
13.  Simvastatin attenuates ventilator-induced lung injury in mice 
Critical Care  2010;14(4):R143.
Mechanical ventilation (MV) is a life saving intervention in acute respiratory failure without alternative. However, particularly in pre-injured lungs, even protective ventilation strategies may evoke ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI), which is characterized by pulmonary inflammation and vascular leakage. Adjuvant pharmacologic strategies in addition to lung protective ventilation to attenuate VILI are lacking. Simvastatin exhibited anti-inflammatory and endothelial barrier stabilizing properties in vitro and in vivo.
Mice were ventilated (12 ml/kg; six hours) and subjected to simvastatin (20 mg/kg) or sham treatment. Pulmonary microvascular leakage, oxygenation, pulmonary and systemic neutrophil and monocyte counts and cytokine release in lung and blood plasma were assessed. Further, lung tissue was analyzed by electron microscopy.
Mechanical ventilation induced VILI, displayed by increased pulmonary microvascular leakage and endothelial injury, pulmonary recruitment of neutrophils and Gr-1high monocytes, and by liberation of inflammatory cytokines in the lungs. Further, VILI associated systemic inflammation characterized by blood leukocytosis and elevated plasma cytokines was observed. Simvastatin treatment limited pulmonary endothelial injury, attenuated pulmonary hyperpermeability, prevented the recruitment of leukocytes to the lung, reduced pulmonary cytokine levels and improved oxygenation in mechanically ventilated mice.
High-dose simvastatin attenuated VILI in mice by reducing MV-induced pulmonary inflammation and hyperpermeability.
PMCID: PMC2945124  PMID: 20673352
14.  Novel Role for Aldose Reductase in Mediating Acute Inflammatory Responses in the Lung1 
Exaggerated inflammatory responses and the resultant increases in alveolar-capillary permeability underlie the pathogenesis of acute lung injury during sepsis. This study examined the functions of aldose reductase (AR) in mediating acute lung inflammation. Transgenic mice expressing human AR (ARTg) were used to study the functions of AR since mice have low intrinsic AR activity. In a mild cecal ligation and puncture model, ARTg mice demonstrated an enhanced AR activity and a greater inflammatory response as evaluated by circulating cytokine levels, neutrophil accumulation in the lungs, and activation of Rho kinase in lung endothelial cells (ECs). Compared with WT lung cells, ARTg lung cells produced more IL-6 and showed augmented JNK activation in response to LPS stimulation ex vivo. In human neutrophils, AR activity was required for fMLP-included CD11b activation and up-regulation, respiratory burst, and shape changes. In human pulmonary microvascular ECs, AR activity was required for TNF-α-induced activation of the Rho kinase/MKK4/JNK pathway and IL-6 production, but not p38 activation or ICAM-1 expression. Importantly, AR activity in both human neutrophils and ECs was required for neutrophil adhesion to TNF-α-stimulated ECs. These data demonstrate a novel role for AR in regulating the signaling pathways leading to neutrophil-EC adhesion during acute lung inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3144631  PMID: 20007578
15.  Localization of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in the lungs of silica-exposed mice. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  1997;105(Suppl 5):1183-1190.
Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) is expressed on a variety of cells including endothelial cells, alveolar epithelial cells, and alveolar macrophages. Endothelial/epithelial cell ICAM-1 participates in the migration of leukocytes out of the blood in response to pulmonary inflammation, whereas alveolar macrophage ICAM-1 may represent cell activation. Our previous studies have shown that there is increased expression of ICAM-1 in lung tissue during acute inflammation following intratracheal injection with silica particles (2 mg/mouse). This increased expression was shown to play a role, in part, in the migration of neutrophils from the circulation into the tissue parenchyma. The aim of the current work is to localize expression of ICAM-1 during acute inflammation in lungs of mice exposed to either silica or the nuisance dust, titanium dioxide. In silica-exposed mice, a significant increase in ICAM-1 was detected on day-1 and localized by immunohistochemistry to aggregates of pulmonary macrophages and to type II epithelial cells. Areas of the lung with increased ICAM-1 expression also showed increased tumor necrosis factor alpha expression. Immunocytochemical staining of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells demonstrated increased ICAM-1 expression associated with alveolar macrophages 3, 5, and 7 days following silica exposure. Finally, soluble ICAM-1 levels in the BAL fluid were significantly increased in mice exposed to silica on the same days. Titanium dioxide exposure elicited a minimal increase in expression of ICAM-1 in the lungs. These data demonstrate that exposure to the toxic particle silica specifically increases ICAM-1 expression localized to pulmonary macrophages and type II epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC1470169  PMID: 9400721
16.  Mild episodes of tourniquet-induced forearm ischaemia-reperfusion injury results in leukocyte activation and changes in inflammatory and coagulation markers 
Monocytes and neutrophils are examples of phagocytic leukocytes, with neutrophils being considered as the 'chief' phagocytic leukocyte. Both monocytes and neutrophils have been implicated to play a key role in the development of ischaemia-reperfusion injury, where they are intrinsically involved in leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions. In this pilot study we hypothesised that mild episodes of tourniquet induced forearm ischaemia-reperfusion injury results in leukocyte activation and changes in inflammatory and coagulation markers.
Ten healthy human volunteers were recruited after informed consent. None had any history of cardiovascular disease with each subject volunteer participating in the study for a 24 hour period. Six venous blood samples were collected from each subject volunteer at baseline, 10 minutes ischaemia, 5, 15, 30, 60 minutes and 24 hours reperfusion, by means of a cannula from the ante-cubital fossa. Monocyte and neutrophil leukocyte sub-populations were isolated by density gradient centrifugation techniques. Leukocyte trapping was investigated by measuring the concentration of leukocytes in venous blood leaving the arm. The cell surface expression of CD62L (L-selectin), CD11b and the intracellular production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) were measured via flow cytometry. C-reactive protein (CRP) was measured using a clinical chemistry analyser. Plasma concentrations of D-dimer and von Willebrand factor (vWF) were measured using enzyme-linked fluorescent assays (ELFA).
During ischaemia-reperfusion injury, there was a decrease in CD62L and an increase in CD11b cell surface expression for both monocytes and neutrophils, with changes in the measured parameters reaching statistical significance (p =< 0.05). A significant decrease in peripheral blood leukocyte concentration was observed during this process, which was measured to assess the degree of leukocyte trapping in the micro-circulation (p =< 0.001). There was an increase in the intracellular production of H2O2 production by leukocyte sub-populations, which was measured as a marker of leukocyte activation. Intracellular production of H2O2 in monocytes during ischaemia-reperfusion injury reached statistical significance (p = 0.014), although similar trends were observed with neutrophils these did not reach statistical significance. CRP was measured to assess the inflammatory response following mild episodes of ischaemia-reperfusion injury and resulted in a significant increase in the CRP concentration (p =< 0.001). There were also increased plasma concentrations of D-dimer and a trend towards elevated vWF levels, which were measured as markers of coagulation activation and endothelial damage respectively. Although significant changes in D-dimer concentrations were observed during ischaemia-reperfusion injury (p = 0.007), measurement of the vWF did not reach statistical significance.
Tourniquet induced forearm ischaemia-reperfusion injury results in increased adhesiveness, trapping and activation of leukocytes. We report that, even following a mild ischaemic insult, this leukocyte response is immediately followed by evidence of increased inflammatory response, coagulation activity and endothelial damage. These results may have important implications and this pilot study may lead to a series of trials that shed light on the mechanisms of ischaemia-reperfusion injury, including potential points of therapeutic intervention for pathophysiological conditions.
PMCID: PMC1890284  PMID: 17537260
17.  In vitro and in vivo effects of salbutamol on neutrophil function in acute lung injury 
Thorax  2006;62(1):36-42.
Intravenous salbutamol (albuterol) reduces lung water in patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Experimental data show that it also reduces pulmonary neutrophil accumulation or activation and inflammation in ARDS.
To investigate the effects of salbutamol on neutrophil function.
The in vitro effects of salbutamol on neutrophil function were determined. Blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid were collected from 35 patients with acute lung injury (ALI)/ARDS, 14 patients at risk from ARDS and 7 ventilated controls at baseline and after 4 days' treatment with placebo or salbutamol (ALI/ARDS group). Alveolar–capillary permeability was measured in vivo by thermodilution (PiCCO). Neutrophil activation, adhesion molecule expression and inflammatory cytokines were measured.
In vitro, physiological concentrations of salbutamol had no effect on neutrophil chemotaxis, viability or apoptosis. Patients with ALI/ARDS showed increased neutrophil activation and adhesion molecule expression compared with at risk‐patients and ventilated controls. There were associations between alveolar–capillary permeability and BAL myeloperoxidase (r = 0.4, p = 0.038) and BAL interleukin 8 (r = 0.38, p = 0.033). In patients with ALI/ARDS, salbutamol increased numbers of circulating neutrophils but had no effect on alveolar neutrophils.
At the onset of ALI/ARDS, there is increased neutrophil recruitment and activation. Physiological concentrations of salbutamol did not alter neutrophil chemotaxis, viability or apoptosis in vitro. In vivo, salbutamol increased circulating neutrophils, but had no effect on alveolar neutrophils or on neutrophil activation. These data suggest that the beneficial effects of salbutamol in reducing lung water are unrelated to modulation of neutrophil‐dependent inflammatory pathways.
PMCID: PMC2111273  PMID: 16928710
18.  Interferon-β attenuates lung inflammation following experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage 
Critical Care  2010;14(4):R157.
Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) affects relatively young people and carries a poor prognosis with a case fatality rate of 35%. One of the major systemic complications associated with SAH is acute lung injury (ALI) which occurs in up to one-third of the patients and is associated with poor outcome. ALI in SAH may be predisposed by neurogenic pulmonary edema (NPE) and inflammatory mediators. The objective of this study was to assess the immunomodulatory effects of interferon-β (IFN-β) on inflammatory mediators in the lung after experimental SAH.
Male Wistar rats were subjected to the induction of SAH by means of the endovascular filament method. Sham-animals underwent sham-surgery. Rats received IFN-β for four consecutive days starting at two hours after SAH induction. After seven days, lungs were analyzed for the expression of inflammatory markers.
SAH induced the influx of neutrophils into the lung, and enhanced expression of the pulmonary adhesion molecules E-selectin, inter-cellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 compared to sham-animals. In addition, SAH increased the expression of the chemokines macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, MIP-2, and cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant (CINC)-1 in the lung. Finally, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was significantly increased in lungs from SAH-animals compared to sham-animals. IFN-β effectively abolished the SAH-induced expression of all pro-inflammatory mediators in the lung.
IFN-β strongly reduces lung inflammation after experimental SAH and may therefore be an effective drug to prevent SAH-mediated lung injury.
PMCID: PMC2945141  PMID: 20731855
19.  Neutrophil Cytoskeletal Rearrangements during Capillary Sequestration in Bacterial Pneumonia in Rats 
Rationale: Neutrophils accumulate in pulmonary capillaries during acute inflammation. Initial events in injury recognition and sequestration do not occur through selectin-mediated rolling. Cytoskeletal rearrangements, as assessed by submembrane F-actin rims, result in poorly deformable neutrophils that may not pass through capillaries.
Objective: To test the hypothesis that neutrophils sequestering during pneumonia contain F-actin rims and to determine the roles of CD11/CD18, L-selectin expression, and neutrophil-platelet adhesion in neutrophil sequestration.
Methods: Neutrophils were compared in blood obtained simultaneously from venous and arterial sites before and 4 h after instillation of Streptococcus pneumoniae or Escherichia coli in rats.
Measurements and Main Results: At 4 h of pneumonia, the number of neutrophils was greater in the venous blood entering the lungs than in the arterial blood leaving the lungs, indicating that neutrophil sequestration was occurring. More neutrophils entering the lungs contained F-actin rims than did neutrophils exiting, and the venous–arterial difference in F-actin–rimmed neutrophil counts completely accounted for sequestration. In E. coli pneumonia, in which neutrophil adhesion is mediated by CD11/CD18, CD18 blockade 15 min before blood samples were obtained did not prevent this sequestration of F-actin–rimmed neutrophils. Neutrophils expressing high or low levels of L-selectin or of neutrophils that bound platelets while circulating did not preferentially sequester.
Conclusions: Neutrophils with cytoskeletal rearrangements preferentially sequester within the lungs during pneumonia, and this sequestration is not due to CD11/CD18-mediated adhesion, L-selectin expression, or platelet adhesion to neutrophils, suggesting that cytoskeletal rearrangements result in sequestration of neutrophils.
PMCID: PMC2648058  PMID: 16741152
acute inflammation; adhesion molecules; cytoskeleton; neutrophil recruitment; pulmonary infection
20.  Cyclic arginine-glycine-aspartate attenuates acute lung injury in mice after intestinal ischemia/reperfusion 
Critical Care  2013;17(1):R19.
Intestinal ischemia is a critical problem resulting in multiple organ failure and high mortality of 60 to 80%. Acute lung injury (ALI) is a common complication after intestinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injuries and contributes to the high mortality rate. Moreover, activated neutrophil infiltration into the lungs is known to play a significant role in the progression of ALI. Integrin-mediated interaction is involved in neutrophil transmigration. Synthetic peptides containing an arginine-glycine-aspartate sequence compete with adhesive proteins and inhibit integrin-mediated interaction and signaling. Thus, we hypothesized that the administration of a cyclic arginine-glycine-aspartate peptide (cRGD) inhibited neutrophil infiltration and provided protection against ALI induced by intestinal I/R.
Ischemia in adult male C57BL/6 mice was induced by fastening the superior mesenteric artery with 4-0 suture. Forty-five minutes later, the vascular suture was released to allow reperfusion. cRGD (5 mg/kg body weight) or normal saline (vehicle) was administered by intraperitoneal injection 1 hour prior to ischemia. Blood, gut, and lung tissues were collected 4 hours after reperfusion for various measurements.
Intestinal I/R caused severe widespread injury to the gut and lungs. Treatment with cRGD improved the integrity of microscopic structures in the gut and lungs, as judged by histological examination. Intestinal I/R induced the expression of β1, β2 and β3 integrins, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and fibronectin. cRGD significantly inhibited myeloperoxidase activity in the gut and lungs, as well as neutrophils and macrophages infiltrating the lungs. cRGD reduced the levels of TNF-α and IL-6 in serum, in addition to IL-6 and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 in the gut and lungs. Furthermore, the number of TUNEL-staining cells and levels of cleaved caspase-3 in the lungs were significantly lowered in the cRGD-treated mice in comparison with the vehicle mice.
Treatment with cRGD effectively protected ALI and gut injury, lowered neutrophil infiltration, suppressed inflammation, and inhibited lung apoptosis after intestinal I/R. Thus, there is potential for developing cRGD as a treatment for patients suffering from ALI caused by intestinal I/R.
PMCID: PMC4057497  PMID: 23360591
21.  Heparanase mediates renal dysfunction during early sepsis in mice 
Physiological Reports  2013;1(6):e00153.
Heparanase, a heparan sulfate-specific glucuronidase, mediates the onset of pulmonary neutrophil adhesion and inflammatory lung injury during early sepsis. We hypothesized that glomerular heparanase is similarly activated during sepsis and contributes to septic acute kidney injury (AKI). We induced polymicrobial sepsis in mice using cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in the presence or absence of competitive heparanase inhibitors (heparin or nonanticoagulant N-desulfated re-N-acetylated heparin [NAH]). Four hours after surgery, we collected serum and urine for measurement of renal function and systemic inflammation, invasively determined systemic hemodynamics, harvested kidneys for histology/protein/mRNA, and/or measured glomerular filtration by inulin clearance. CLP-treated mice demonstrated early activation of glomerular heparanase with coincident loss of glomerular filtration, as indicated by a >twofold increase in blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and a >50% decrease in inulin clearance (P < 0.05) in comparison to sham mice. Administration of heparanase inhibitors 2 h prior to CLP attenuated sepsis-induced loss of glomerular filtration rate, demonstrating that heparanase activation contributes to early septic renal dysfunction. Glomerular heparanase activation was not associated with renal neutrophil influx or altered vascular permeability, in marked contrast to previously described effects of pulmonary heparanase on neutrophilic lung injury during sepsis. CLP induction of renal inflammatory gene (IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β) expression was attenuated by NAH pretreatment. While serum inflammatory indices (KC, IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β) were not impacted by NAH pretreatment, heparanase inhibition attenuated the CLP-induced increase in serum IL-10. These findings demonstrate that glomerular heparanase is active during sepsis and contributes to septic renal dysfunction via mechanisms disparate from heparanase-mediated lung injury.
PMCID: PMC3871468  PMID: 24400155
Acute kidney injury; heparan sulfate; heparanase; heparin; mice; sepsis
22.  Absence of Fer protein tyrosine kinase exacerbates endotoxin induced intestinal epithelial barrier dysfunction in vivo 
Gut  2005;54(8):1091-1097.
Background and aims: Fer kinase is activated by a number of growth factors and cytokines, and phosphorylates cortactin during cell shape change induced cortical actin reorganisation. In addition, Fer participates in cytoskeletal interactions mediated by cadherins, platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 (PECAM-1), and integrins, and has recently been implicated in limiting the innate immune response. Here we examined the role of Fer in modulating leucocyte recruitment and epithelial barrier function in the gut in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS).
Methods: Mice targeted with a kinase inactivating mutation (FerDR) or strain matched wild-type (129Sv/J) mice were studied after intraperitoneal injection of LPS. Intravital microscopy was used to examine intestinal leucocyte kinetics, and leucocyte infiltration was assessed by fluorescence activated cell sorting. Systemic inflammation was assessed by measuring lung myeloperoxidase activity. Epithelial barrier function was assessed in vivo using blood to lumen 51Cr-EDTA clearance, with or without antibody based depletion of circulating neutrophils.
Results: LPS induced a significant increase in leucocyte adhesion and neutrophil infiltration into the intestinal tissue, and increased blood to lumen 51Cr-EDTA clearance. Pretreatment with neutrophil depleting antibody completely abrogated this response in wild-type mice. In FerDR mice, LPS induced leucocyte adhesion within the intestinal venules was exacerbated and associated with a trend towards increased neutrophil transmigration relative to wild-type mice. Surprisingly, LPS induced epithelial barrier permeability was increased 2.5-fold in FerDR mice relative to wild-type mice, and this barrier defect was only partly attenuated by depleting circulating neutrophils by >93 %.
Conclusions: Fer plays a role in regulating LPS induced epithelial barrier dysfunction in vivo through both neutrophil dependent and neutrophil independent mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC1774871  PMID: 16009680
lipopolysaccharide; intestinal cell trafficking; Fer protein tyrosine kinase (Fer); transgenic; epithelial barrier integrity
23.  NF-κB p50 facilitates neutrophil accumulation during LPS-induced pulmonary inflammation 
BMC Immunology  2004;5:10.
Transcription factors have distinct functions in regulating immune responses. During Escherichia coli pneumonia, deficiency of NF-κB p50 increases gene expression and neutrophil recruitment, suggesting that p50 normally limits these innate immune responses. p50-deficient mice were used to determine how p50 regulates responses to a simpler, non-viable bacterial stimulus in the lungs, E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS).
In contrast to previous results with living E. coli, neutrophil accumulation elicited by E. coli LPS in the lungs was decreased by p50 deficiency, to approximately 30% of wild type levels. Heat-killed E. coli induced neutrophil accumulation which was not decreased by p50 deficiency, demonstrating that bacterial growth and metabolism were not responsible for the different responses to bacteria and LPS. p50 deficiency increased the LPS-induced expression of κB-regulated genes essential to neutrophil recruitment, including KC, MIP-2, ICAM-1, and TNF-α suggesting that p50 normally limited this gene expression and that decreased neutrophil recruitment did not result from insufficient expression of these genes. Neutrophils were responsive to the chemokine KC in the peripheral blood of p50-deficient mice with or without LPS-induced pulmonary inflammation. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), previously demonstrated to decrease LPS-induced neutrophil recruitment in the lungs, was increased by p50 deficiency, but LPS-induced neutrophil recruitment was decreased by p50 deficiency even in IL-6 deficient mice.
p50 makes essential contributions to neutrophil accumulation elicited by LPS in the lungs. This p50-dependent pathway for neutrophil accumulation can be overcome by bacterial products other than LPS and does not require IL-6.
PMCID: PMC449706  PMID: 15189567
24.  Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Targets Pathways Extrinsic to Bone Marrow Cells to Enhance Neutrophil Recruitment during Influenza Virus Infection 
There is growing evidence that neutrophils influence host resistance during influenza virus infection; however, factors that regulate neutrophil migration to the lung during viral infection are unclear. Activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) by the pollutant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD or dioxin) results in an increased number of neutrophils in the lung after influenza virus infection. The mechanism of AhR-mediated neutrophilia does not involve elevated levels of soluble neutrophil chemoattractants, upregulated adhesion molecules on pulmonary neutrophils, delayed neutrophil apoptosis, or increased vascular damage. In this study, we determined whether AhR activation increases neutrophil numbers systemically or only in the infected lung, and whether AhR-regulated events within the hematopoietic system underlie the dioxin-induced increase in pulmonary neutrophils observed during influenza virus infection. We report here that AhR activation does not increase neutrophil numbers systemically or increase neutrophil production in hematopoietic tissue, suggesting that the elevated number of neutrophils is restricted to the site of antigen challenge. The generation of CD45.2AhR−/− → CD45.1AhR+/+ bone marrow chimeric mice demonstrates that even when hematopoietic cells lack the AhR, TCDD treatment still results in twice as many pulmonary neutrophils compared with control-treated, infected CD45.2AhR−/− → CD45.1AhR+/+ chimeric mice. This finding reveals that AhR-mediated events extrinsic to bone marrow–derived cells affect the directional migration of neutrophils to the infected lung. These results suggest that the lung contains important and heretofore overlooked targets of AhR regulation, unveiling a novel mechanism for controlling neutrophil recruitment to the infected lung.
PMCID: PMC2919339  PMID: 18007012
pulmonary inflammation; respiratory infection; Per-Arnt-Sim proteins; environmental pollutants; dioxin receptor
25.  Leukocyte compartments in the mouse lung: distinguishing between marginated, interstitial, and alveolar cells in response to injury 
Journal of Immunological Methods  2011;375(1-2):100-110.
We developed a flow cytometry-based assay to simultaneously quantify multiple leukocyte populations in the marginated vascular, interstitial, and alveolar compartments of the mouse lung. An intravenous injection of a fluorescently labeled anti-CD45 antibody was used to label circulating and marginated vascular leukocytes. Following vascular flushing to remove non-adherent cells and collection of broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, lungs were digested and a second fluorescent anti-CD45 antibody was added ex vivo to identify cells not located in the vascular space. In the naïve mouse lung, we found about 11 million CD45+ leukocytes, of which 87% (9.5 million) were in the vascular marginated compartment, consisting of 17% NK cells, 17% neutrophils, 57% mononuclear myeloid cells (monocytes, macrophage precursors and dendritic cells), and 10% T cells (CD4+, CD8+, and invariant NKT cells). Non-vascular compartments including the interstitial compartment contained 7.7 × 105 cells, consisting of 49% NK cells, 25% dendritic cells, and 16% other mononuclear myeloid cells. The alveolar compartment was overwhelmingly populated by macrophages (5.63 × 105 cells, or 93%). We next studied leukocyte margination and extravasation into the lung following acid injury, a model of gastric aspiration. At 1 hour after injury, neutrophils were markedly elevated in the blood while all other circulating leukocytes declined by an average of 79 percent. At 4 hours after injury, there was a peak in the numbers of marginated neutrophils, NK cells, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and a peak in the number of alveolar NK cells. Most interstitial cells consisted of DCs, neutrophils, and CD4+ T cells, and most alveolar compartment cells consisted of macrophages, neutrophils, and NK cells. At 24 hours after injury, there was a decline in the number of all marginated and interstitial leukocytes and a peak in alveolar neutrophils. In sum, we have developed a novel assay to study leukocyte margination and trafficking following pulmonary inflammation and show that marginated cells comprise a large fraction of lung leukocytes that increases shortly after lung injury. This assay may be of interest in future studies to determine if leukocytes become activated upon adherence to the endothelium, and have properties that distinguish them from interstitial and circulating cells.
PMCID: PMC3328189  PMID: 21996427
Flow cytometry; in vivo trafficking; marginated leukocytes; pulmonary leukocytes

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