Pulmonary microvascular hyperpermeability and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in smoke inhalation- and pneumonia-induced acute lung injury

Burns. 2012 Nov;38(7):1072-8. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2012.02.019. Epub 2012 May 29.


Introduction: Acute lung injury (ALI) and sepsis are major contributors to the morbidity and mortality of critically ill patients. The current study was designed further evaluate the mechanism of pulmonary vascular hyperpermeability in sheep with these injuries.

Methods: Sheep were randomized to a sham-injured control group (n=6) or ALI/sepsis group (n=7). The sheep in the ALI/sepsis group received inhalation injury followed by instillation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa into the lungs. These groups were monitored for 24 h. Additional sheep (n=16) received the injury and lung tissue was harvested at different time points to measure lung wet/dry weight ratio, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA and protein expression as well as 3-nitrotyrosine protein expression in lung homogenates.

Results: The injury induced severe deterioration in pulmonary gas exchange, increases in lung lymph flow and protein content, and lung water content (P<0.01 each). These alterations were associated with elevated lung and plasma nitrite/nitrate concentrations, increased tracheal blood flow, and enhanced VEGF mRNA and protein expression in lung tissue as well as enhanced 3-nitrotyrosine protein expression (P<0.05 each).

Conclusions: This study describes the time course of pulmonary microvascular hyperpermeability in a clinical relevant large animal model and may improve the experimental design of future studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Lung Injury* / etiology
  • Acute Lung Injury* / metabolism
  • Acute Lung Injury* / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Capillary Permeability*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Microcirculation
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Pneumonia* / complications
  • Pneumonia* / metabolism
  • Pneumonia* / physiopathology
  • Pseudomonas Infections / complications
  • Pseudomonas Infections / metabolism
  • Pseudomonas Infections / physiopathology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Pulmonary Circulation
  • Pulmonary Edema / etiology
  • Pulmonary Edema / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Edema / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • Sepsis / complications
  • Sepsis / metabolism
  • Sepsis / physiopathology
  • Sheep
  • Smoke Inhalation Injury* / complications
  • Smoke Inhalation Injury* / metabolism
  • Smoke Inhalation Injury* / physiopathology
  • Time Factors
  • Tyrosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Tyrosine / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Nitric Oxide
  • 3-nitrotyrosine
  • Tyrosine