Pulmonary thromboembolism (PEm) is a serious and life threatening disease and the most common cause of acute pulmonary vascular occlusion. Even following successful treatment of PEm, many patients experience long-term disability due to diminished heart and lung function. Considerable damage to the lungs presumably occurs due to reperfusion injury following anti-occlusive treatments for PEm and the resulting chronic inflammatory state in the lung vasculature. We have used a rat model of irreversible PEm to ask whether pulmonary vascular occlusion in the absence of reperfusion is itself sufficient to induce an inflammatory response in lungs. By adjusting the severity of the vascular occlusion, we were able to generate hypertensive and nonhypertensive PEm, and then examine lung tissue for expression of CXC and C-C chemokine genes and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid for the presence of chemokine proteins. Hypertensive and nonhypertensive PEm resulted in increased expression of both CXC and C-C chemokines genes in lung tissues. Hypertensive PEm was also associated with a 50-100-fold increase in protein content in lung BAL fluid, which included the CXC chemokines cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant and macrophage-inflammatory protein 2. The presence of chemokines in BALs was reflected by a potent neutrophil chemotactic activity in in vitro chemotaxis assays. Abs to cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant blocked the in vitro neutrophil chemotactic activity of BAL by 44%. Our results indicate that the ischemia and hypertension associated with PEm are sufficient to induce expression of proinflammatory mediators such as chemokines, and establish a proinflammatory environment in the ischemic lung even before reperfusion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy