Malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde-adducted protein inhalation causes lung injury

Alcohol. 2012 Feb;46(1):51-9. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2011.09.001. Epub 2011 Sep 29.


In addition to cigarette smoking, alcohol exposure is also associated with increased lung infections and decreased mucociliary clearance. However, little research has been conducted on the combination effects of alcohol and cigarette smoke on lungs. Previously, we have demonstrated in a mouse model that the combination of cigarette smoke and alcohol exposure results in the formation of a very stable hybrid malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde (MAA)-adducted protein in the lung. In in vitro studies, MAA-adducted protein stimulates bronchial epithelial cell interleukin-8 (IL-8) via the activation of protein kinase C epsilon (PKCɛ). We hypothesized that direct MAA-adducted protein exposure in the lungs would mimic such a combination of smoke and alcohol exposure leading to airway inflammation. To test this hypothesis, C57BL/6J female mice were intranasally instilled with either saline, 30μL of 50μg/mL bovine serum albumin (BSA)-MAA, or unadducted BSA for up to 3 weeks. Likewise, human lung surfactant proteins A and D (SPA and SPD) were purified from human pulmonary proteinosis lung lavage fluid and successfully MAA-adducted in vitro. Similar to BSA-MAA, SPD-MAA was instilled into mouse lungs. Lungs were necropsied and assayed for histopathology, PKCɛ activation, and lung lavage chemokines. In control mice instilled with saline, normal lungs had few inflammatory cells. No significant effects were observed in unadducted BSA- or SPD-instilled mice. However, when mice were instilled with BSA-MAA or SPD-MAA for 3 weeks, a significant peribronchiolar localization of inflammatory cells was observed. Both BSA-MAA and SPD-MAA stimulated increased lung lavage neutrophils and caused a significant elevation in the chemokine, keratinocyte chemokine, which is a functional homologue to human IL-8. Likewise, MAA-adducted protein stimulated the activation of airway and lung slice PKCɛ. These data support that the MAA-adducted protein induces a proinflammatory response in the lungs and that the lung surfactant protein is a biologically relevant target for malondialdehyde and acetaldehyde adduction. These data further implicate MAA-adduct formation as a potential mechanism for smoke- and alcohol-induced lung injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acetaldehyde / metabolism
  • Acetaldehyde / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Chemokines / drug effects
  • Ethanol / metabolism
  • Ethanol / toxicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inhalation Exposure*
  • Interleukin-8 / drug effects
  • Lung Injury / chemically induced*
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Malondialdehyde / toxicity*
  • Mice
  • Pneumonia / chemically induced
  • Protein Kinase C / drug effects
  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Smoke / adverse effects*
  • Smoke Inhalation Injury / metabolism*


  • Chemokines
  • Interleukin-8
  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Proteins
  • Smoke
  • Ethanol
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Acetaldehyde