β2-adrenergic receptors are present throughout the lung, including the alveolar airspace, where they play an important role for regulation of the active Na+ transport needed for clearance of excess fluid out of alveolar airspace. β2-adrenergic receptor signaling is required for up-regulation of alveolar epithelial active ion transport in the setting of excess alveolar edema. The positive, protective effects of β2-adrenergic receptor signaling on alveolar active Na+ transport in normal and injured lungs provide substantial support for the use of β-adrenergic agonists to accelerate alveolar fluid clearance in patients with cardiogenic and noncardiogenic pulmonary edema. In this review, we summarize the role of β2-adrenergic receptors in the alveolar epithelium with emphasis on their role in the regulation of alveolar active Na+ transport in normal and injured lungs.
pulmonary edema; acute respiratory distress syndrome; acute lung injury; alveoli; albuterol
Rationale: Human data suggest that the incidence of acute lung injury is reduced in patients with type II diabetes mellitus. However, the mechanisms by which diabetes confers protection from lung injury are unknown.
Objectives: To determine whether leptin resistance, which is seen in humans with diabetes, protects mice from hyperoxic lung injury.
Methods: Wild-type (leptin responsive) and db/db (leptin resistant) mice were used in these studies. Mice were exposed to hyperoxia (100% O2) for 84 hours to induce lung injury and up to 168 hours for survival studies. Alveolar fluid clearance was measured in vivo.
Measurements and Main Results: Lung leptin levels were increased both in wild-type and leptin receptor–defective db/db mice after hyperoxia. Hyperoxia-induced lung injury was decreased in db/db compared with wild-type mice. Hyperoxia increased lung permeability in wild-type mice but not in db/db mice. Compared with wild-type control animals, db/db mice were resistant to hyperoxia-induced mortality (lethal dose for 50% of mice, 152 vs. 108 h). Intratracheal instillation of leptin at a dose that was observed in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid during hyperoxia caused lung injury in wild-type but not in db/db mice. Intratracheal pretreatment with a leptin receptor inhibitor attenuated leptin-induced lung edema. The hyperoxia-induced release of proinflammatory cytokines was attenuated in db/db mice. Despite resistance to lung injury, db/db mice had diminished alveolar fluid clearance and reduced Na,K-ATPase function compared with wild-type mice.
Conclusions: These results indicate that leptin can induce and that resistance to leptin attenuates hyperoxia-induced lung injury and hyperoxia-induced inflammatory cytokines in the lung.
alveolar fluid clearance; pulmonary edema; Na,K-ATPase; diabetes mellitus; oxygen
The development of organ fibrosis after injury requires activation of transforming growth factor β1 which regulates the transcription of profibrotic genes. The systemic administration of a proteasomal inhibitor has been reported to prevent the development of fibrosis in the liver, kidney and bone marrow. It is hypothesised that proteasomal inhibition would prevent lung and skin fibrosis after injury by inhibiting TGF-β1-mediated transcription.
Bortezomib, a small molecule proteasome inhibitor in widespread clinical use, was administered to mice beginning 7 days after the intratracheal or intradermal administration of bleomycin and lung and skin fibrosis was measured after 21 or 40 days, respectively. To examine the mechanism of this protection, bortezomib was administered to primary normal lung fibroblasts and primary lung and skin fibroblasts obtained from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and scleroderma, respectively.
Bortezomib promoted normal repair and prevented lung and skin fibrosis when administered beginning 7 days after the initiation of bleomycin. In primary human lung fibroblasts from normal individuals and patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and in skin fibroblasts from a patient with scleroderma, bortezomib inhibited TGF-β1-mediated target gene expression by inhibiting transcription induced by activated Smads. An increase in the abundance and activity of the nuclear hormone receptor PPARγ, a repressor of Smad-mediated transcription, contributed to this response.
Proteasomal inhibition prevents lung and skin fibrosis after injury in part by increasing the abundance and activity of PPARγ. Proteasomal inhibition may offer a novel therapeutic alternative in patients with dysregulated tissue repair and fibrosis.
To facilitate the proposed use of graphene and its derivative graphene oxide (GO) in widespread applications, we explored strategies that improve the biocompatibility of graphene nanomaterials in the lung. In particular, solutions of aggregated graphene, Pluronic dispersed graphene, and GO were administered directly into the lungs of mice. The introduction of GO resulted in severe and persistent lung injury. Furthermore, in cells, GO increased the rate of mitochondrial respiration and the generation of reactive oxygen species, activating inflammatory and apoptotic pathways. In contrast, this toxicity was significantly reduced in the case of pristine graphene after liquid phase exfoliation, and was further minimized when the unoxidized graphene was well-dispersed with the block copolymer Pluronic. Our results demonstrate that the covalent oxidation of graphene is a major contributor to its pulmonary toxicity and suggest that dispersion of pristine graphene in Pluronic provides a pathway for the safe handling and potential biomedical application of two-dimensional carbon nanomaterials.
graphene; graphene oxide; biocompatibility; pluronic; poloxamer
Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease that results in loss of normal lung architecture, but the signaling events that drive tissue destruction are incompletely understood. Wnt/β-catenin signaling is important in normal lung development, but whether abnormal signaling occurs in lung fibrosis due to systemic sclerosis and the consequences of β-catenin signaling toward the fibrogenic phenotype remain poorly defined. In this study, we show nuclear β-catenin accumulation in fibroblastic foci from lungs of patients with systemic sclerosis–associated advanced pulmonary fibrosis. Forced activation of β-catenin signaling in three independently derived sources of normal human lung fibroblasts promotes proliferation and migratory activities but is not sufficient to activate classic markers of fibroblast activation, such as TGF-β, type 1 collagen, α-smooth muscle actin, and connective tissue growth factor. These findings indicate that activation of β-catenin signaling in pulmonary fibroblasts may be a common feature of lung fibrosis, contributing to fibroproliferative and migratory activities associated with the disease.
Wnt/β-catenin signaling; scleroderma; fibrosis
Rationale: Acute lung injury and the acute respiratory distress syndrome are characterized by increased lung oxidant stress and apoptotic cell death. The contribution of epithelial cell apoptosis to the development of lung injury is unknown.
Objectives: To determine whether oxidant-mediated activation of the intrinsic or extrinsic apoptotic pathway contributes to the development of acute lung injury.
Methods: Exposure of tissue-specific or global knockout mice or cells lacking critical components of the apoptotic pathway to hyperoxia, a well-established mouse model of oxidant-induced lung injury, for measurement of cell death, lung injury, and survival.
Measurements and Main Results: We found that the overexpression of SOD2 prevents hyperoxia-induced BAX activation and cell death in primary alveolar epithelial cells and prolongs the survival of mice exposed to hyperoxia. The conditional loss of BAX and BAK in the lung epithelium prevented hyperoxia-induced cell death in alveolar epithelial cells, ameliorated hyperoxia-induced lung injury, and prolonged survival in mice. By contrast, Cyclophilin D–deficient mice were not protected from hyperoxia, indicating that opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore is dispensable for hyperoxia-induced lung injury. Mice globally deficient in the BH3-only proteins BIM, BID, PUMA, or NOXA, which are proximal upstream regulators of BAX and BAK, were not protected against hyperoxia-induced lung injury suggesting redundancy of these proteins in the activation of BAX or BAK.
Conclusions: Mitochondrial oxidant generation initiates BAX- or BAK-dependent alveolar epithelial cell death, which contributes to hyperoxia-induced lung injury.
cell death; epithelium; Bcl-2 proteins; acute respiratory distress syndrome
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a sensor of cellular energy status found in metazoans that is known to be activated by stimuli that increase the cellular AMP/ATP ratio. Full activation of AMPK requires specific phosphorylation within the activation loop of the catalytic domain of the α-subunit by upstream kinases such as the serine/threonine protein kinase LKB1. Here we show that hypoxia activates AMPK through LKB1 without an increase in the AMP/ATP ratio. Hypoxia increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and the antioxidant EUK-134 abolished the hypoxic activation of AMPK. Cells deficient in mitochondrial DNA (ρ0 cells) failed to activate AMPK during hypoxia but are able to in the presence of exogenous H2O2. Furthermore, we provide genetic evidence that ROS generated within the mitochondrial electron transport chain and not oxidative phosphorylation is required for hypoxic activation of AMPK. Collectively, these data indicate that oxidative stress and not an increase in the AMP/ATP ratio is required for hypoxic activation of AMPK.
AMP-activated kinase; Hypoxia; LKB1; Mitochondria; Reactive oxygen species; Free radicals
To maintain cellular ATP levels, hypoxia leads to Na,K-ATPase inhibition in a process dependent on reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the activation of AMP-activated kinase α1 (AMPK-α1). We report here that during hypoxia AMPK activation does not require the liver kinase B1 (LKB1) but requires the release of Ca2+ from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and redistribution of STIM1 to ER-plasma membrane junctions, leading to calcium entry via Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels. This increase in intracellular Ca2+ induces Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase kinase β (CaMKKβ)-mediated AMPK activation and Na,K-ATPase downregulation. Also, in cells unable to generate mitochondrial ROS, hypoxia failed to increase intracellular Ca2+ concentration while a STIM1 mutant rescued the AMPK activation, suggesting that ROS act upstream of Ca2+ signaling. Furthermore, inhibition of CRAC channel function in rat lungs prevented the impairment of alveolar fluid reabsorption caused by hypoxia. These data suggest that during hypoxia, calcium entry via CRAC channels leads to AMPK activation, Na,K-ATPase downregulation, and alveolar epithelial dysfunction.
Exposure of human populations to chronically elevated levels of ambient particulate matter air pollution < 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) has been associated with an increase in lung cancer incidence. Over 70% of lung cancer cell lines exhibit promoter methylation of the tumor suppressor p16, an epigenetic modification that reduces its expression. We exposed mice to concentrated ambient PM2.5 via inhalation, 8 hours daily for 3 weeks and exposed primary murine alveolar epithelial cells to daily doses of fine urban PM (5 µg/cm2). In both mice and alveolar epithelial cells, PM exposure increased ROS production, expression of the DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1), and methylation of the p16 promoter. In alveolar epithelial cells, increased transcription of DNMT1 and methylation of the p16 promoter were inhibited by a mitochondrially targeted antioxidant and a JNK inhibitor. These findings provide a potential mechanism by which PM exposure increases the risk of lung cancer.
Alcohol intake increases the risk of acute lung injury (ALI) and the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and is associated with poor outcomes in patients who develop these syndromes. No specific therapies are currently available to treat or decrease the risk of ARDS in patients with alcoholism. We have recently shown increased levels of lung adenosine inhibit alveolar fluid clearance, an important predictor of outcome in patients with ARDS. We hypothesized that alcohol might worsen lung injury by increasing lung adenosine levels, resulting in impaired active Na+ transport in the lung.
We treated wild-type mice with alcohol administered i.p. to achieve blood alcohol levels associated with moderate to severe intoxication and measured the rate of alveolar fluid clearance and Na,K-ATPase expression in peripheral lung tissue and assessed the effect of alcohol on survival during exposure to hyperoxia. We used primary rat alveolar type II cells to investigate the mechanisms by which alcohol regulates alveolar Na+ transport.
Exposure to alcohol reduced alveolar fluid clearance, downregulated Na,K-ATPase in the lung tissue and worsened hyperoxia-induced lung injury. Alcohol caused an increase in BAL fluid adenosine levels. A similar increase in lung adenosine levels was observed after exposure to hyperoxia. In primary rat alveolar type II cells alcohol and adenosine decreased the abundance of the Na,K-ATPase at the basolateral membrane via a mechanism that required activation of the AMPK.
Alcohol decreases alveolar fluid clearance and impairs survival from acute lung injury. Alcohol induced increases in lung adenosine levels may be responsible for reduction in alveolar fluid clearance and associated worsening of lung injury.
Excitement surrounding the attractive physical and chemical characteristics of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) has been tempered by concerns regarding their potential health risks. Here we consider the lung toxicity of nanoscale dispersed SWCNTs (mean diameter ~ 1 nm). Because dispersion of the SWCNTs increases their aspect ratio relative to as-produced aggregates, we directly test the prevailing hypothesis that lung toxicity associated with SWCNTs compared with other carbon structures is attributable to the large aspect ratio of the individual particles. Thirty days after their intratracheal administration to mice, the granuloma-like structures with mild fibrosis in the large airways observed in mice treated with aggregated SWCNTs were absent in mice treated with nanoscale dispersed SWCNTs. Examination of lung sections from mice treated with nanoscale dispersed SWCNTs revealed uptake of the SWCNTs by macrophages and gradual clearance over time. We conclude that the toxicity of SWCNTs in vivo is attributable to aggregation of the nanomaterial rather than the large aspect ratio of the individual nanotubes. Biocompatible nanoscale dispersion provides a scalable method to generate purified preparations of SWCNTs with minimal toxicity, thus allowing them to be used safely in commercial and biomedical applications.
It is estimated that, combined, 400,000 people are diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) or acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome annually in the United States, and both diseases are associated with an unacceptably high mortality rate. Although these disorders are distinct clinical entities, they share pathogenic mechanisms that may provide overlapping therapeutic targets. One example is fibroblast activation, which occurs concomitant with acute lung injury as well as in the progressive fibrosis of IPF. Both clinical entities are characterized by elevations of the profibrotic cytokine, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1. Protein degradation by the ubiquitin–proteasomal system modulates TGF-β1 expression and signaling. In this review, we highlight the effects of proteasomal inhibition in various animal models of tissue fibrosis and mechanisms by which it may regulate TGF-β1 expression and signaling. At present, there are no effective therapies for fibroproliferative acute respiratory distress syndrome or IPF, and proteasomal inhibition may provide a novel, attractive target in these devastating diseases.
acute respiratory distress syndrome; transforming growth factor-β1; Smad; ubiquitination
Estrogen receptor-α (ERα) and its ligand estradiol (E2) play critical roles in breast cancer growth and are key therapeutic targets. Here, we report a novel dual role of the adenosine A1 receptor (Adora1) as an E2/ERα target and a regulator of ERα transcriptional activity. In ERα-positive breast cancer cells, E2 up-regulated Adora1 mRNA and protein levels, an effect that was reversed by the E2 antagonist ICI 182,780. siRNA ablation of Adora1 in ERα-positive cells reduced basal and E2-dependent proliferation, whereas Adora1 over-expression in an ERα-negative cell line induced proliferation. The selective Adora1 antagonist, DPCPX, reduced proliferation, establishing Adora1 as a mediator of E2/ERα-dependent breast cancer growth. Intriguingly, Adora1 ablation decreased both mRNA and protein levels of ERα and, consequently, estrogen responsive element-dependent ERα transcriptional activity. Moreover, Adora1 ablation decreased binding activity of ERα to the promoter of its target gene TFF1 and led to reduced TFF1 promoter activity and mRNA levels, suggesting that Adora1 is required for full transcriptional activity of ERα upon E2 stimulation. Taken together, we demonstrated a short feed-forward loop involving E2, ERα, and Adora1 that favors breast cancer growth. These data suggest that Adora1 may represent an important target for therapeutic intervention in hormone-dependent breast cancer.
Adora1; ERα; estradiol; breast cancer; G protein-coupled receptors; cell proliferation
Lung cells are exposed to cyclic stretch during normal respiration and during positive pressure mechanical ventilation administered to support gas exchange. Dystroglycan is a ubiquitously expressed matrix receptor that is required for normal basement membrane formation during embryogenesis and for maintaining the function of skeletal muscle myocytes and neurons where it links cells to matrix. We previously reported that equibiaxial stretch of primary alveolar epithelial cells activated the MAP kinase pathway ERK1/2 through a mechanism that required an interaction between dystroglycan and matrix. We determined whether this mechanism of mechanotransduction activates other signaling cascades in lung epithelium. Exposure of rat epithelial alveolar type II cells (AEC) to cyclic mechanical stretch resulted in activation of 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). This response was not affected by pretreatment of AEC with the ERK inhibitor PD98059 but was inhibited by knockdown in dystroglycan expression. Moreover, production of reactive oxygen species was enhanced in mechanically stimulated AEC in which dystroglycan was knocked down. This enhancement was reversed by treatment of AEC with an AMPK activator. Activation of AMPK was also observed in lung homogenates from mice after 15 minutes of noninjurious mechanical ventilation. Furthermore, knockdown of dystroglycan in the lungs of mice using an adenovirus encoding a dystroglycan shRNA prevented the stretch-induced activation of AMPK. These results suggest that exposure to cyclic stretch activates the metabolic sensing pathway AMPK in the lung epithelium and supports a novel role for dystroglycan in this mechanotransduction.
stretch; lung injury; mechanical ventilation; acute respiratory distress syndrome
Rationale: Acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome are common clinical syndromes resulting largely from the accumulation of and inability to clear pulmonary edema, due to injury to the alveolar epithelium. Gene therapy may represent an important alternative for the treatment and prevention of these diseases by restoring alveolar epithelial function. We have recently developed an electroporation strategy to transfer genes to the lungs of mice, with high efficiency and low inflammation.
Objectives: We asked whether electroporation-mediated transfer of genes encoding subunits of the Na+,K+-ATPase could protect from LPS-induced lung injury or be used to treat already injured lungs by up-regulating mechanisms of pulmonary edema clearance.
Methods: Plasmids were delivered to the lungs of mice using transthoracic electroporation. Lung injury was induced by intratracheal administration of LPS (4 mg/kg body weight). Biochemical, cellular, and physiologic measurements were taken to assess gene transfer and lung injury.
Measurements and Main Results: Improvements in wet-to-dry ratios, pulmonary effusions, bronchoalveolar lavage protein levels and cellularity, alveolar fluid clearance, and respiratory mechanics were seen after delivery of plasmids expressing Na+,K+-ATPase subunits, but not control plasmids, in LPS-injured lungs. Delivery of plasmids expressing Na+,K+-ATPase subunits both protected from subsequent lung injury and partially reversed existing lung injury by these measures.
Conclusions: These results demonstrate that electroporation can be used effectively in healthy and injured lungs to facilitate gene delivery and expression. To our knowledge, this is the first successful use of gene delivery to treat existing lung injury, and may have future clinical potential.
acute lung injury; alveolar fluid clearance; electroporation; gene therapy; pulmonary edema
Rationale: Exposure to particulate matter (PM) causes lung cancer by mechanisms that are unknown, but p53 dysfunction is implicated.
Objective: We determined whether p53 is required for PM-induced apoptosis in both human and rodent alveolar type (AT) 2 cells.
Methods: A well-characterized form of urban PM was used to determine whether it induces mitochondrial dysfunction (mitochondrial membrane potential change [ΔΨm] and caspase-9 activation), p53 protein and mRNA expression, and apoptosis (DNA fragmentation and annexin V staining) in vitro using A549 cells and primary isolated human and rat AT2 cells. The role of p53 was assessed using inhibitors of p53-dependent transcription, pifithrin-α, and a genetic approach (overexpressing E6 or dominant negative p53). In mice, the in vivo effects of PM causing p53 expression and apoptosis were assessed 72 h after a single PM intratracheal instillation.
Measurements and Main Results: PM-induced apoptosis in A549 cells was characterized by increased p53 mRNA and protein expression, mitochondrial translocation of Bax and p53, a reduction in ΔΨm, and caspase-9 activation, and these effects were blocked by inhibiting p53-dependent transcription. Similar findings were noted in primary isolated human and rat AT2 cells. A549-ρ° cells that are incapable of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production were protected against PM-induced ΔΨm, p53 expression, and apoptosis. In mice, PM induced p53 expression and apoptosis at the bronchoalveolar duct junctions.
Conclusions: These data suggest a novel interaction between p53 and the mitochondria in mediating PM-induced apoptosis that is relevant to the pathogenesis of lung cancer from air pollution.
apoptosis; mitochondria; p53; particulate matter; reactive oxygen species
The mechanisms by which exposure to particulate matter increases the risk of cardiovascular events are not known. Recent human and animal data suggest that particulate matter may induce alterations in hemostatic factors. In this study we determined the mechanisms by which particulate matter might accelerate thrombosis. We found that mice treated with a dose of well characterized particulate matter of less than 10 μM in diameter exhibited a shortened bleeding time, decreased prothrombin and partial thromboplastin times (decreased plasma clotting times), increased levels of fibrinogen, and increased activity of factor II, VIII, and X. This prothrombotic tendency was associated with increased generation of intravascular thrombin, an acceleration of arterial thrombosis, and an increase in bronchoalveolar fluid concentration of the prothrombotic cytokine IL-6. Knockout mice lacking IL-6 were protected against particulate matter–induced intravascular thrombin formation and the acceleration of arterial thrombosis. Depletion of macrophages by the intratracheal administration of liposomal clodronate attenuated particulate matter–induced IL-6 production and the resultant prothrombotic tendency. Our findings suggest that exposure to particulate matter triggers IL-6 production by alveolar macrophages, resulting in reduced clotting times, intravascular thrombin formation, and accelerated arterial thrombosis. These results provide a potential mechanism linking ambient particulate matter exposure and thrombotic events.
Ambient particulate matter is increasingly recognized as a significant contributor to human cardiopulmonary morbidity and mortality in the United States and worldwide. We sought to determine whether exposure to ambient particulate matter would alter alveolar fluid clearance in mice. Mice were exposed to a range of doses of a well-characterized particulate matter collected from the ambient air in Düsseldorf, Germany through a single intratracheal instillation, and alveolar fluid clearance and measurements of lung injury were made. Exposure to even very low doses of particulate matter (10 μg) resulted in a significant reduction in alveolar fluid clearance that was maximal 24 h after the exposure, with complete resolution after 7 d. This was paralleled by a decrease in lung Na,K-ATPase activity. To investigate the mechanism of this effect, we measured plasma membrane Na,K-ATPase abundance in A549 cells and Na,K-ATPase activity in primary rat alveolar type II cells after exposure to particulate matter in the presence or abscence of the combined superoxide dismutase and catalase mimetic EUK-134 (5 μM). Membrane but not total protein abundance of the Na,K-ATPase was decreased after exposure to particulate matter, as was Na,K-ATPase activity. This decrease was prevented by the combined superoxide dismutase/catalase mimetic EUK-134. The intratracheal instillation of particulate matter results in alveolar epithelial injury and decreased alveolar fluid clearance, conceivably due to downregulation of the Na,K-ATPase.
antioxidant; lung injury; Na,K-ATPase; pollution; ROS
Rationale: Diabetic patients have a lower incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and those who develop ARDS are less likely to die. The mechanisms that underlie this protection are unknown.
Objectives: To determine whether leptin resistance, a feature of diabetes, prevents fibroproliferation after lung injury.
Methods: We examined lung injury and fibroproliferation after the intratracheal instillation of bleomycin in wild-type and leptin-resistant (db/db) diabetic mice. We examined the effect of leptin on transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1–mediated transcription in primary normal human lung fibroblasts. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL) samples from patients with ARDS and ventilated control subjects were obtained for measurement of leptin and active TGF-β1 levels.
Measurements and Main Results: Diabetic mice (db/db) were resistant to lung fibrosis. The db/db mice had higher levels of peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor-γ (PPARγ), an inhibitor of the transcriptional response to TGF-β1, a cytokine critical in the pathogenesis of fibroproliferative ARDS. In normal human lung fibroblasts, leptin augmented the transcription of profibrotic genes in response to TGF-β1 through a mechanism that required PPARγ. In patients with ARDS, BAL leptin levels were elevated and correlated with TGF-β1 levels. Overall, there was no significant relationship between BAL leptin levels and clinical outcomes; however, in nonobese patients, higher BAL leptin levels were associated with fewer intensive care unit– and ventilator-free days and higher mortality.
Conclusions: Leptin signaling is required for bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. Leptin augments TGF-β1 signaling in lung fibroblasts by inhibiting PPARγ. These findings provide a mechanism for the observed protection against ARDS observed in diabetic patients.
acute lung injury; fibrosis; lung; diabetes mellitus
HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors such as rosuvastatin may have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce the severity of influenza A infection. We hypothesized that rosuvastatin would decrease viral replication, attenuate lung injury, and improve mortality following influenza A infection in mice.
C57Bl/6 mice were treated daily with rosuvastatin (10 mg/kg/day) supplemented in chow (or control chow) beginning three days prior to infection with either A//Udorn/72 [H3N2] or A/WSN/33 [H1N1] influenza A virus (1×105 pfu/mouse). Plaque assays were used to examine the effect of rosuvastatin on viral replication in vitro and in the lungs of infected mice. We measured cell count with differential, protein and cytokines in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, histologic evidence of lung injury, and wet-to-dry ratio on Day 1, 2, 4, and 6. We also recorded daily weights and mortality.
The administration of rosuvastatin had no effect on viral clearance of influenza A after infection. Weight loss, lung inflammation and lung injury severity were similar in the rosuvastatin and control treated mice. In the mice infected with influenza A (A/WSN/33), mortality was unaffected by treatment with rosuvastatin.
Statins did not alter the replication of influenza A in vitro or enhance its clearance from the lung in vivo. Statins neither attenuated the severity of influenza A-induced lung injury nor had an effect on influenza A-related mortality. Our data suggest that the association between HMG CoA reductase inhibitors and improved outcomes in patients with sepsis and pneumonia are not attributable to their effects on influenza A infection.
Exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution may be an important environmental factor leading to exacerbations of inflammatory illnesses in the GI tract. PM can gain access to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract via swallowing of air or secretions from the upper airways or mucociliary clearance of inhaled particles.
We measured PM-induced cell death and mitochondrial ROS generation in Caco-2 cells stably expressing oxidant sensitive GFP localized to mitochondria in the absence or presence of an antioxidant. C57BL/6 mice were exposed to a very high dose of urban PM from Washington, DC (200 μg/mouse) or saline via gastric gavage and small bowel and colonic tissue were harvested for histologic evaluation, and RNA isolation up to 48 hours. Permeability to 4kD dextran was measured at 48 hours.
PM induced mitochondrial ROS generation and cell death in Caco-2 cells. PM also caused oxidant-dependent NF-κB activation, disruption of tight junctions and increased permeability of Caco-2 monolayers. Mice exposed to PM had increased intestinal permeability compared with PBS treated mice. In the small bowel, colocalization of the tight junction protein, ZO-1 was lower in the PM treated animals. In the small bowel and colon, PM exposed mice had higher levels of IL-6 mRNA and reduced levels of ZO-1 mRNA. Increased apoptosis was observed in the colon of PM exposed mice.
Exposure to high doses of urban PM causes oxidant dependent GI epithelial cell death, disruption of tight junction proteins, inflammation and increased permeability in the gut in vitro and in vivo. These PM-induced changes may contribute to exacerbations of inflammatory disorders of the gut.
Exposure of human populations to ambient particulate matter (PM) air pollution significantly contributes to the mortality attributable to ischemic cardiovascular events. We reported that mice treated with intratracheally instilled PM develop a prothrombotic state that requires the release of IL-6 by alveolar macrophages. We sought to determine whether exposure of mice to PM increases the levels of PAI-1, a major regulator of thrombolysis, via a similar or distinct mechanism.
Methods and Principal Findings
Adult, male C57BL/6 and IL-6 knock out (IL-6−/−) mice were exposed to either concentrated ambient PM less than 2.5 µm (CAPs) or filtered air 8 hours daily for 3 days or were exposed to either urban particulate matter or PBS via intratracheal instillation and examined 24 hours later. Exposure to CAPs or urban PM resulted in the IL-6 dependent activation of coagulation in the lung and systemically. PAI-1 mRNA and protein levels were higher in the lung and adipose tissue of mice treated with CAPs or PM compared with filtered air or PBS controls. The increase in PAI-1 was similar in wild-type and IL-6−/− mice but was absent in mice treated with etanercept, a TNF-α inhibitor. Treatment with etanercept did not prevent the PM-induced tendency toward thrombus formation.
Mice exposed to inhaled PM exhibited a TNF-α-dependent increase in PAI-1 and an IL-6-dependent activation of coagulation. These results suggest that multiple mechanisms link PM-induced lung inflammation with the development of a prothrombotic state.
Prolonged sedation is common in mechanically ventilated patients and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. We sought to determine the diagnostic value of head computed tomography (CT) in mechanically ventilated patients who remain unresponsive after discontinuation of sedation.
A retrospective review of adult (age >18 years of age) patients consecutively admitted to the medical intensive care unit of a tertiary care medical center. Patients requiring mechanical ventilation for management of respiratory failure for longer than 72 hours were included in the study group. A group that did not have difficulty with awakening was included as a control.
The median time after sedation was discontinued until a head CT was performed was 2 days (interquartile range 1.375–2 days). Majority (80%) of patients underwent head CT evaluation within the first 48 hours after discontinuation of sedation. Head CT was non-diagnostic in all but one patient who had a small subarachnoid hemorrhage. Twenty-five patients (60%) had a normal head CT. Head CT findings did not alter the management of any of the patients. The control group was similar to the experimental group with respect to demographics, etiology of respiratory failure and type of sedation used. However, while 37% of subjects in the control group had daily interruption of sedation, only 19% in the patient group had daily interruption of sedation (p < 0.05).
In patients on mechanical ventilation for at least 72 hours and who remain unresponsive after sedative discontinuation and with a non-focal neurologic examination, head CT is performed early and is of very limited diagnostic utility. Routine use of daily interruption of sedation is used in a minority of patients outside of a clinical trial setting though it may decrease the frequency of unresponsiveness from prolonged sedation and the need for head CT in patients mechanically ventilated for a prolonged period.