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1.  Comparison of Airway Responses in Sheep of Different Age in Precision-Cut Lung Slices (PCLS) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e97610.
Background
Animal models should display important characteristics of the human disease. Sheep have been considered particularly useful to study allergic airway responses to common natural antigens causing human asthma. A rationale of this study was to establish a model of ovine precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) for the in vitro measurement of airway responses in newborn and adult animals. We hypothesized that differences in airway reactivity in sheep are present at different ages.
Methods
Lambs were delivered spontaneously at term (147d) and adult sheep lived till 18 months. Viability of PCLS was confirmed by the MTT-test. To study airway provocations cumulative concentration-response curves were performed with different allergic response mediators and biogenic amines. In addition, electric field stimulation, passive sensitization with house dust mite (HDM) and mast cells staining were evaluated.
Results
PCLS from sheep were viable for at least three days. PCLS of newborn and adult sheep responded equally strong to methacholine and endothelin-1. The responses to serotonin, leukotriene D4 and U46619 differed with age. No airway contraction was evoked by histamine, except after cimetidine pretreatment. In response to EFS, airways in PCLS from adult and newborn sheep strongly contracted and these contractions were atropine sensitive. Passive sensitization with HDM evoked a weak early allergic response in PCLS from adult and newborn sheep, which notably was prolonged in airways from adult sheep. Only few mast cells were found in the lungs of non-sensitized sheep at both ages.
Conclusion
PCLS from sheep lungs represent a useful tool to study pharmacological airway responses for at least three days. Sheep seem well suited to study mechanisms of cholinergic airway contraction. The notable differences between newborn and adult sheep demonstrate the importance of age in such studies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097610
PMCID: PMC4167544  PMID: 25229890
2.  Milrinone Relaxes Pulmonary Veins in Guinea Pigs and Humans 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87685.
Introduction
The phosphodiesterase-III inhibitor milrinone improves ventricular contractility, relaxes pulmonary arteries and reduces right ventricular afterload. Thus, it is used to treat heart failure and pulmonary hypertension (PH). However, its action on pulmonary veins (PVs) is not defined, although particularly PH due to left heart disease primarily affects the pulmonary venous bed. We examined milrinone-induced relaxation in PVs from guinea pigs (GPs) and humans.
Material and Methods
Precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) were prepared from GPs or from patients undergoing lobectomy. Milrinone-induced relaxation was studied by videomicroscopy in naïve PVs and in PVs pre-constricted with the ETA-receptor agonist BP0104. Baseline luminal area was defined as 100%. Intracellular cAMP was measured by ELISA and milrinone-induced changes of segmental vascular resistances were studied in the GP isolated perfused lung (IPL).
Results
In the IPL (GP), milrinone (10 µM) lowered the postcapillary resistance of pre-constricted vessels. In PCLS (GP), milrinone relaxed naïve and pre-constricted PVs (120%) and this relaxation was attenuated by inhibition of protein kinase G (KT 5823), adenyl cyclase (SQ 22536) and protein kinase A (KT 5720), but not by inhibition of NO-synthesis (L-NAME). In addition, milrinone-induced relaxation was dependent on the activation of KATP-, BKCa2+- and Kv-channels. Human PVs also relaxed to milrinone (121%), however only if pre-constricted.
Discussion
Milrinone relaxes PVs from GPs and humans. In GPs, milrinone-induced relaxation is based on KATP-, BKCa2+- and Kv-channel-activation and on cAMP/PKA/PKG. The relaxant properties of milrinone on PVs lead to reduced postcapillary resistance and hydrostatic pressures. Hence they alleviate pulmonary edema and suggest beneficial effects of milrinone in PH due to left heart disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087685
PMCID: PMC3909212  PMID: 24498166
3.  CXCL10-CXCR3 Enhances the Development of Neutrophil-mediated Fulminant Lung Injury of Viral and Nonviral Origin 
Rationale: Patients who developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) after infection with severe respiratory viruses (e.g., severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus, H5N1 avian influenza virus), exhibited unusually high levels of CXCL10, which belongs to the non-ELR (glutamic-leucine-arginine) CXC chemokine superfamily. CXCL10 may not be a bystander to the severe virus infection but may directly contribute to the pathogenesis of neutrophil-mediated, excessive pulmonary inflammation.
Objectives: We investigated the contribution of CXCL10 and its receptor CXCR3 axis to the pathogenesis of ARDS with nonviral and viral origins.
Methods: We induced nonviral ARDS by acid aspiration and viral ARDS by intratracheal influenza virus infection in wild-type mice and mice deficient in CXCL10, CXCR3, IFNAR1 (IFN-α/β receptor 1), or TIR domain-containing adaptor inducing IFN-β (TRIF).
Measurements and Main Results: We found that the mice lacking CXCL10 or CXCR3 demonstrated improved severity and survival of nonviral and viral ARDS, whereas mice that lack IFNAR1 did not control the severity of ARDS in vivo. The increased levels of CXCL10 in lungs with ARDS originate to a large extent from infiltrated pulmonary neutrophils, which express a unique CXCR3 receptor via TRIF. CXCL10-CXCR3 acts in an autocrine fashion on the oxidative burst and chemotaxis in the inflamed neutrophils, leading to fulminant pulmonary inflammation.
Conclusions: CXCL10-CXCR3 signaling appears to be a critical factor for the exacerbation of the pathology of ARDS. Thus, the CXCL10-CXCR3 axis could represent a prime therapeutic target in the treatment of the acute phase of ARDS of nonviral and viral origins.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201203-0508OC
PMCID: PMC3927876  PMID: 23144331
CXCL10; CXCR3; ARDS
4.  Levosimendan Relaxes Pulmonary Arteries and Veins in Precision-Cut Lung Slices - The Role of KATP-Channels, cAMP and cGMP 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66195.
Introduction
Levosimendan is approved for left heart failure and is also used in right heart failure to reduce right ventricular afterload. Despite the fact that pulmonary arteries (PAs) and pulmonary veins (PVs) contribute to cardiac load, their responses to levosimendan are largely unknown.
Materials and Methods
Levosimendan-induced vasorelaxation of PAs and PVs was studied in precision-cut lung slices from guinea pigs by videomicroscopy; baseline luminal area was defined as 100%. Intracellular cAMP- and cGMP-levels were measured by ELISA and NO end products were determined by the Griess reaction.
Results
Levosimendan relaxed control PVs (116%) and those pre-constricted with an endothelinA-receptor agonist (119%). PAs were only relaxed if pre-constricted (115%). Inhibition of KATP-channels (glibenclamide), adenyl cyclase (SQ 22536) and protein kinase G (KT 5823) largely attenuated the levosimendan-induced relaxation in control PVs, as well as in pre-constricted PAs and PVs. Inhibition of BKCa2+-channels (iberiotoxin) and Kv-channels (4-aminopyridine) only contributed to the relaxant effect of levosimendan in pre-constricted PAs. In both PAs and PVs, levosimendan increased intracellular cAMP- and cGMP-levels, whereas NO end products remained unchanged. Notably, basal NO-levels were higher in PVs. The KATP-channel activator levcromakalim relaxed PAs dependent on cAMP/PKA/PKG and increased cAMP-levels in PAs.
Discussion
Levosimendan initiates complex and divergent signaling pathways in PAs and PVs. Levosimendan relaxes PAs and PVs primarily via KATP-channels and cAMP/cGMP; in PAs, BKCa2+- and Kv-channels are also involved. Our findings with levcromakalim do further suggest that in PAs the activation of KATP-channels leads to the production of cAMP/PKA/PKG. In conclusion, these results suggest that levosimendan might reduce right ventricular afterload by relaxation of PAs as well as pulmonary hydrostatic pressure and pulmonary edema by relaxation of PVs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066195
PMCID: PMC3688856  PMID: 23824760
5.  Orai1 determines calcium selectivity of an endogenous TRPC heterotetramer channel 
Circulation Research  2012;110(11):1435-1444.
Rationale
Canonical transient receptor potential 4 (TRPC4) contributes to the molecular composition of a channel encoding for a calcium selective store operated current, ISOC, whereas Orai1 critically comprises a channel encoding for the highly selective calcium release activated calcium current, ICRAC. However, Orai1 may interact with TRPC proteins and influence their activation and permeation characteristics. Endothelium expresses both TRPC4 and Orai1, and it remains unclear as to whether Orai1 interacts with TRPC4 and contributes to calcium permeation through the TPRC4 channel.
Objective
We tested the hypothesis that Orai1 interacts with TRPC4 and contributes to the channel’s selective calcium permeation important for endothelial barrier function.
Methods and Results
A novel method to purify the endogenous TRPC4 channel and probe for functional interactions was developed, using TRPC4 binding to protein 4.1 as bait. Isolated channel complexes were conjugated to anti-TRPC protein antibodies labeled with cy3-cy5 pairs. Förster Resonance Energy Transfer among labeled subunits revealed the endogenous protein alignment. One TRPC1 and at least two TRPC4 subunits constituted the endogenous channel (TRPC1/4). Orai1 interacted with TRPC4. Conditional Orai1 knockdown reduced the probability for TRPC1/4 channel activation, and converted it from a calcium-selective to a non-selective channel, an effect that was rescued upon Orai1 re-expression. Loss of Orai1 improved endothelial cell barrier function.
Conclusion
Orai1 interacts with TRPC4 in the endogenous channel complex, where it controls TRPC1/4 activation and channel permeation characteristics, including calcium selectivity, important for control of endothelial cell barrier function.
doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.112.269506
PMCID: PMC3388001  PMID: 22534489
Store operated calcium entry; ISOC, calcium selective store operated calcium entry current; ICRAC, calcium release activated calcium current; Protein 4.1; Endothelium
6.  Antenatal Inflammation Reduces Expression of Caveolin-1 and Influences Multiple Signaling Pathways in Preterm Fetal Lungs 
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), associated with chorioamnionitis, results from the simultaneous effects of disrupted lung development, lung injury, and repair superimposed on the developing lung. Caveolins (Cavs) are implicated as major modulators of lung injury and remodeling by multiple signaling pathways, although Cavs have been minimally studied in the injured developing lung. We hypothesized that chorioamnionitis-associated antenatal lung inflammation would decrease the expression of Cav-1 in preterm fetal lungs. We tested whether changes occurred in the transcription factors Smad2/3, Smad1/5, Stat3, and Stat1, and we also studied the activation of acid-sphingomyelinase (a-SMase) with the generation of ceramide, along with changes in the expression of heme oxygenase–1 (HO-1) as indicators of possible Cav-1–mediated effects. Fetal sheep were exposed to 10 mg of intra-amniotic endotoxin or saline for 2, 7, or 2 + 7 days before preterm delivery at 124 days of gestation. The expression of Cav-1 and HO-1 and the phosphorylation of Smad and Stat were evaluated by real-time PCR, Western blotting, and/or immunohistochemistry. The activity of a-SMase and the concentrations of ceramide were measured. Intra-amniotic endotoxin decreased Cav-1 mRNA and protein expression in the lungs, with a maximum reduction of Cav-1 mRNA to 50% ± 7% of the control value (P < 0.05), and of Cav-1 protein expression to 20% ± 5% of the control value (P < 0.05). Decreased concentrations of Cav-1 were associated with the elevated phosphorylation of Smad2/3, Stat3, and Stat1, but not of Smad1/5. The expression of HO-1, a-SMase activity, and ceramide increased. Antenatal inflammation decreased the expression of Cav-1 in the preterm fetal lung. The decreased expression of Cav-1 was associated with the activation of the Smad2/3, Stat, and a-SMase/ceramide pathways, and with the increased expression of HO-1. The decreased concentrations of Cav-1 and changes in other signaling pathways may contribute to BPD.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2010-0519OC
PMCID: PMC3361364  PMID: 21562314
bronchopulmonary dysplasia; TGF-β; a-SMase; ceramide; chorioamnionitis
7.  Neurally Mediated Airway Constriction in Human and Other Species: A Comparative Study Using Precision-Cut Lung Slices (PCLS) 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47344.
The peripheral airway innervation of the lower respiratory tract of mammals is not completely functionally characterized. Recently, we have shown in rats that precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) respond to electric field stimulation (EFS) and provide a useful model to study neural airway responses in distal airways. Since airway responses are known to exhibit considerable species differences, here we examined the neural responses of PCLS prepared from mice, rats, guinea pigs, sheep, marmosets and humans. Peripheral neurons were activated either by EFS or by capsaicin. Bronchoconstriction in response to identical EFS conditions varied between species in magnitude. Frequency response curves did reveal further species-dependent differences of nerve activation in PCLS. Atropine antagonized the EFS-induced bronchoconstriction in human, guinea pig, sheep, rat and marmoset PCLS, showing cholinergic responses. Capsaicin (10 µM) caused bronchoconstriction in human (4 from 7) and guinea pig lungs only, indicating excitatory non-adrenergic non-cholinergic responses (eNANC). However, this effect was notably smaller in human responder (30±7.1%) than in guinea pig (79±5.1%) PCLS. The transient receptor potential (TRP) channel blockers SKF96365 and ruthenium red antagonized airway contractions after exposure to EFS or capsaicin in guinea pigs. In conclusion, the different species show distinct patterns of nerve-mediated bronchoconstriction. In the most common experimental animals, i.e. in mice and rats, these responses differ considerably from those in humans. On the other hand, guinea pig and marmoset monkey mimic human responses well and may thus serve as clinically relevant models to study neural airway responses.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047344
PMCID: PMC3467211  PMID: 23056631
8.  Using the One-Lung Method to Link p38 to Pro-Inflammatory Gene Expression during Overventilation in C57BL/6 and BALB/c Mice 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e41464.
Introduction
The mechanisms of ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI), including the role of MAP kinases, are frequently studied in different mouse strains. A useful model for such studies is the isolated perfused mouse lung. As a further development we present the one-lung method that permits to continue perfusion and ventilation of the right lung after removal of the left lung. This method was used to compare the effect of high pressure ventilation (HPV) on pro-inflammatory signaling events in two widely used mouse strains (C57BL/6, BALB/c) and to further define the role of p38 in VILI.
Methods
Lungs were perfused and ventilated for 30 min under control conditions before they were randomized to low (8 cm H2O) or high (25 cm H2O) pressure ventilation (HPV) for 210 min, with the left lung being removed after 180 min. In the left lung we measured the phosphorylation of p38, JNK, ERK and Akt kinase, and in the right lung gene expression and protein concentrations of Il1b, Il6, Tnf, Cxcl1, Cxcl2, and Areg.
Results
Lung mechanics and kinase activation were similar in both mouse strains. HPV increased all genes (except Tnf in BALB/c) and all mediators in both strains. The gene expression of mRNA for Il1b, Il6, Cxcl1 and Cxcl2 was higher in BALB/c mice. Backward regression of the kinase data at t = 180 min with the gene and protein expression data at t = 240 min suggested that p38 controls HPV-induced gene expression, but not protein production. This hypothesis was confirmed in experiments with the p38-kinase inhibitor SB203580.
Conclusions
The one-lung method is useful for mechanistic studies in the lungs. While C57BL/6 show diminished pro-inflammatory responses during HPV, lung mechanics and mechanotransduction processes appear to be similar in both mouse strains. Finally, the one-lung method allowed us to link p38 to gene expression during VILI.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041464
PMCID: PMC3404097  PMID: 22848503
9.  Lung endothelial ADAM17 regulates the acute inflammatory response to lipopolysaccharide 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2012;4(5):412-423.
Acute lung injury (ALI) is associated with increased vascular permeability, leukocyte recruitment, and pro-inflammatory mediator release. We investigated the role of the metalloproteinase ADAM17 in endotoxin-induced ALI with focus on endothelial ADAM17. In vitro, endotoxin-mediated induction of endothelial permeability and IL-8-induced transmigration of neutrophils through human microvascular endothelial cells required ADAM17 as shown by inhibition with GW280264X or shRNA-mediated knockdown. In vivo, ALI was induced by intranasal endotoxin-challenge combined with GW280264X treatment or endothelial adam17-knockout. Endotoxin-triggered upregulation of ADAM17 mRNA in the lung was abrogated in knockout mice and associated with reduced ectodomain shedding of the junctional adhesion molecule JAM-A and the transmembrane chemokine CX3CL1. Induced vascular permeability, oedema formation, release of TNF-α and IL-6 and pulmonary leukocyte recruitment were all markedly reduced by GW280264X or endothelial adam17-knockout. Intranasal application of TNF-α could not restore leukocyte recruitment and oedema formation in endothelial adam17-knockout animals. Thus, activation of endothelial ADAM17 promotes acute pulmonary inflammation in response to endotoxin by multiple endothelial shedding events most likely independently of endothelial TNF-α release leading to enhanced vascular permeability and leukocyte recruitment.
doi:10.1002/emmm.201200217
PMCID: PMC3403298  PMID: 22367719
inflammation; metalloproteinase; neutrophil recruitment; oedema; shedding
10.  Detection of air trapping in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by low frequency ultrasound 
Background
Spirometry is regarded as the gold standard for the diagnosis of COPD, yet the condition is widely underdiagnosed. Therefore, additional screening methods that are easy to perform and to interpret are needed. Recently, we demonstrated that low frequency ultrasound (LFU) may be helpful for monitoring lung diseases. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether LFU can be used to detect air trapping in COPD. In addition, we evaluated the ability of LFU to detect the effects of short-acting bronchodilator medication.
Methods
Seventeen patients with COPD and 9 healthy subjects were examined by body plethysmography and LFU. Ultrasound frequencies ranging from 1 to 40 kHz were transmitted to the sternum and received at the back during inspiration and expiration. The high pass frequency was determined from the inspiratory and the expiratory signals and their difference termed ΔF. Measurements were repeated after inhalation of salbutamol.
Results
We found significant differences in ΔF between COPD subjects and healthy subjects. These differences were already significant at GOLD stage 1 and increased with the severity of COPD. Sensitivity for detection of GOLD stage 1 was 83% and for GOLD stages worse than 1 it was 91%. Bronchodilator effects could not be detected reliably.
Conclusions
We conclude that low frequency ultrasound is cost-effective, easy to perform and suitable for detecting air trapping. It might be useful in screening for COPD.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01080924
doi:10.1186/1471-2466-12-8
PMCID: PMC3359201  PMID: 22424178
Bronchodilation; Pulmonary function test; Diagnosis; GOLD
11.  Cardiovascular Agents Affect the Tone of Pulmonary Arteries and Veins in Precision-Cut Lung Slices 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e29698.
Introduction
Cardiovascular agents are pivotal in the therapy of heart failure. Apart from their action on ventricular contractility and systemic afterload, they affect pulmonary arteries and veins. Although these effects are crucial in heart failure with coexisting pulmonary hypertension or lung oedema, they are poorly defined, especially in pulmonary veins. Therefore, we investigated the pulmonary vascular effects of adrenoceptor agonists, vasopressin and angiotensin II in the model of precision-cut lung slices that allows simultaneous studies of pulmonary arteries and veins.
Materials and Methods
Precision-cut lung slices were prepared from guinea pigs and imaged by videomicroscopy. Concentration-response curves of cardiovascular drugs were analysed in pulmonary arteries and veins.
Results
Pulmonary veins responded stronger than arteries to α1-agonists (contraction) and β2-agonists (relaxation). Notably, inhibition of β2-adrenoceptors unmasked the α1-mimetic effect of norepinephrine and epinephrine in pulmonary veins. Vasopressin and angiotensin II contracted pulmonary veins via V1a and AT1 receptors, respectively, without affecting pulmonary arteries.
Discussion
Vasopressin and (nor)epinephrine in combination with β2-inhibition caused pulmonary venoconstriction. If applicable in humans, these treatments would enhance capillary hydrostatic pressures and lung oedema, suggesting their cautious use in left heart failure. Vice versa, the prevention of pulmonary venoconstriction by AT1 receptor antagonists might contribute to their beneficial effects seen in left heart failure. Further, α1-mimetic agents might exacerbate pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular failure by contracting pulmonary arteries, whereas vasopressin might not.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029698
PMCID: PMC3246495  PMID: 22216346
12.  Inhalative IL-10 Attenuates Pulmonary Inflammation following Hemorrhagic Shock without Major Alterations of the Systemic Inflammatory Response 
Mediators of Inflammation  2011;2012:512974.
Several studies report immunomodulatory effects of endogenous IL-10 after trauma. The present study investigates the effect of inhalative IL-10 administration on systemic and pulmonary inflammation in hemorrhagic shock. Male C57/BL6 mice (8 animals per group) were subjected to pressure-controlled hemorrhagic shock for 1.5 hrs followed by resuscitation and inhalative administration of either 50 μL PBS (Shock group) or 50 μg/kg recombinant mouse IL-10 dissolved in 50 μL PBS (Shock + IL-10 group). Animals were sacrificed after 4.5 hrs of recovery and serum IL-6, IL-10, KC, and MCP-1 concentrations were measured with ELISA kits. Acute pulmonary inflammation was assessed by pulmonary myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and pulmonary H&E histopathology. Inhalative IL-10 administration decreased pulmonary inflammation without altering the systemic concentrations of IL-6, IL-10, and KC. Serum MCP-1 levels were significantly reduced following inhalative IL-10 administration. These findings suggest that inhalative IL-10 administration may modulate the pulmonary microenvironment without major alterations of the systemic inflammatory response, thus minimizing the potential susceptibility to infection and sepsis.
doi:10.1155/2012/512974
PMCID: PMC3199193  PMID: 22046081
13.  Recurrent Recruitment Manoeuvres Improve Lung Mechanics and Minimize Lung Injury during Mechanical Ventilation of Healthy Mice 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e24527.
Introduction
Mechanical ventilation (MV) of mice is increasingly required in experimental studies, but the conditions that allow stable ventilation of mice over several hours have not yet been fully defined. In addition, most previous studies documented vital parameters and lung mechanics only incompletely. The aim of the present study was to establish experimental conditions that keep these parameters within their physiological range over a period of 6 h. For this purpose, we also examined the effects of frequent short recruitment manoeuvres (RM) in healthy mice.
Methods
Mice were ventilated at low tidal volume VT = 8 mL/kg or high tidal volume VT = 16 mL/kg and a positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) of 2 or 6 cmH2O. RM were performed every 5 min, 60 min or not at all. Lung mechanics were followed by the forced oscillation technique. Blood pressure (BP), electrocardiogram (ECG), heart frequency (HF), oxygen saturation and body temperature were monitored. Blood gases, neutrophil-recruitment, microvascular permeability and pro-inflammatory cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and blood serum as well as histopathology of the lung were examined.
Results
MV with repetitive RM every 5 min resulted in stable respiratory mechanics. Ventilation without RM worsened lung mechanics due to alveolar collapse, leading to impaired gas exchange. HF and BP were affected by anaesthesia, but not by ventilation. Microvascular permeability was highest in atelectatic lungs, whereas neutrophil-recruitment and structural changes were strongest in lungs ventilated with high tidal volume. The cytokines IL-6 and KC, but neither TNF nor IP-10, were elevated in the BAL and serum of all ventilated mice and were reduced by recurrent RM. Lung mechanics, oxygenation and pulmonary inflammation were improved by increased PEEP.
Conclusions
Recurrent RM maintain lung mechanics in their physiological range during low tidal volume ventilation of healthy mice by preventing atelectasis and reduce the development of pulmonary inflammation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024527
PMCID: PMC3174196  PMID: 21935418
14.  Effects of the TLR2 Agonists MALP-2 and Pam3Cys in Isolated Mouse Lungs 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(11):e13889.
Background
Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria are main causes of pneumonia or acute lung injury. They are recognized by the innate immune system via toll-like receptor-2 (TLR2) or TLR4, respectively. Among all organs, the lungs have the highest expression of TLR2 receptors, but little is known about the pulmonary consequences of their activation. Here we studied the effects of the TLR2/6 agonist MALP-2, the TLR2/1 agonist Pam3Cys and the TLR4 agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on pro-inflammatory responses in isolated lungs.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Isolated perfused mouse lungs were perfused for 60 min or 180 min with MALP-2 (25 ng/mL), Pam3Cys (160 ng/mL) or LPS (1 µg/mL). We studied mediator release by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), the activation of mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) and AKT/protein kinase B by immunoblotting, and gene induction by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. All agonists activated the MAPK ERK1/2 and p38, but neither JNK or AKT kinase. The TLR ligands upregulated the inflammation related genes Tnf, Il1β, Il6, Il10, Il12, Ifng, Cxcl2 (MIP-2α) and Ptgs2. MALP-2 was more potent than Pam3Cys in inducing Slpi, Cxcl10 (IP10) and Parg. Remarkable was the strong induction of Tnc by MALP2, which was not seen with Pam3Cys or LPS. The growth factor related genes Areg and Hbegf were not affected. In addition, all three TLR agonists stimulated the release of IL-6, TNF, CXCL2 and CXCL10 protein from the lungs.
Conclusions/Significance
TLR2 and TLR4 activation leads to similar reactions in the lungs regarding MAPK activation, gene induction and mediator release. Several genes studied here have not yet been appreciated as targets of TLR2-activation in the lungs before, i.e., Slpi, tenascin C, Parg and Traf1. In addition, the MALP-2 dependent induction of Tnc may indicate the existence of TLR2/6-specific pathways.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013889
PMCID: PMC2987752  PMID: 21124967
15.  αβ T Cell Receptor-positive Cells and Interferon-γ, but not Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase, Are Critical for Granuloma Necrosis in a Mouse Model of Mycobacteria-induced Pulmonary Immunopathology 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2001;194(12):1847-1859.
The immunological basis of tuberculin-induced necrosis, known for more than a century as “Koch's phenomenon,” remains poorly understood. Aerosol infection in mice with the highly virulent Mycobacterium avium strain TMC724 causes progressive pulmonary pathology strongly resembling caseating necrosis in human patients with tuberculosis. To identify the cellular and molecular mediators causing this pathology, we infected C57BL/6 mice and mice selectively deficient in recombinase activating gene (RAG)-1, αβ T cell receptor (TCR), γδ TCR, CD4, CD8, β2-microglobulin, interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-10, IL-12p35, IL-12p35/p40, or iNOS with M. avium by aerosol and compared bacterial multiplication, histopathology, and respiratory physiology in these mice. The bacterial load in the lung was similarly high in all mouse groups. Pulmonary compliance, as a surrogate marker for granulomatous infiltrations in the lung, deteriorated to a similar extent in all groups of mice, except in αβ TCR-knockout (KO) and IL-12–KO mice in which compliance was higher, and in IFN-γ and inducible nitric oxide synthase–KO mice in which compliance was reduced faster. Progressive caseation of pulmonary granulomas never occurred in αβ TCR-KO, IL-12–KO, and IFN-γ–KO mice and was reduced in CD4-KO mice. In summary, αβ TCR+ cells and IFN-γ are essential for the development of mycobacteria-induced pulmonary caseous necrosis. In contrast, high mycobacterial load and extensive granulomatous infiltration per se are not sufficient to cause caseation, nor is granuloma necrosis linked to the induction of nitric oxide.
PMCID: PMC2193571  PMID: 11748285
tuberculosis; granuloma; necrosis; Koch's phenomenon; immunopathology
16.  Temporal Sequence of Pulmonary and Systemic Inflammatory Responses to Graded Polymicrobial Peritonitis in Mice 
Infection and Immunity  1999;67(11):5642-5650.
The lungs are the remote organ most commonly affected in human peritonitis. The major goals of this study were to define the dose- and time-dependent relationship between graded septic peritonitis and systemic and pulmonary inflammatory responses in mice. BALB/c mice were treated with intraperitoneal polymicrobial inoculi and sacrificed at 3, 12, and 24 h. The treatment protocol resulted in distinct groups of animals with respect to mortality rate, kinetics, and concentrations of a broad spectrum of pro- and anti-inflammatory endogenous mediators, intrapulmonary bacterial accumulation, and static lung compliance. In sublethally infected mice, pulmonary bacterial proliferation was controlled. Levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), interleukin-10, interleukin-6, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in plasma were elevated 3 h after infection exclusively. At 3 h, MCP-1, gamma interferon, and TNF were detected in extracts of pulmonary tissue or in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. Static lung compliance (Cst) was transiently decreased at 12 h. In contrast, in lethally infected mice pulmonary bacterial proliferation was not contained. Concentrations of MCP-1, G-CSF, and TNF in plasma were maximal at 24 h, as were pulmonary MCP-1 levels. Lung myeloperoxidase activity was increased at 3, 12, and 24 h. Cst was reduced after 3 h and did not reach control values at 24 h. Pulmonary cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA and eicosanoids in BAL fluid and plasma were elevated at 3 and 24 h. This study shows that polymicrobial peritonitis in mice leads to dose-dependent systemic and pulmonary inflammation accompanied by a decrease in lung compliance.
PMCID: PMC96937  PMID: 10531211

Results 1-16 (16)