The effects of iron and desferrioxamine on the lung injury induced by intravenous bleomycin and hyperoxia

Free Radic Res Commun. 1987;4(2):109-14. doi: 10.3109/10715768709088095.


The development of acute lung injury in rats following the intravenous injection of bleomycin was assessed by measuring the total pulmonary extravascular albumin space. Intravenous bleomycin alone produced no evidence of lung injury, yet when combined with a simultaneous exposure to hyperoxia or simultaneous tracheal instillation of ferric iron or ascorbate a severe lung injury evolved. Neither ferric iron or ascorbate alone produced lung injury when assessed in this manner, and ferrous iron, ferritin and haemoglobin did not potentiate bleomycin induced lung injury. A continuous subcutaneous infusion of desferrioxamine enhanced hyperoxia induced lung injury, and had no modulating effect on the lung injury produced by combined intravenous bleomycin and hyperoxia. These results indicate that ferric iron can potentiate bleomycin induced lung injury, and that the metal chelator desferrioxamine can have adverse effects on the development of acute lung injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bleomycin / toxicity*
  • Deferoxamine / toxicity*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Extracellular Space / analysis
  • Ferric Compounds / toxicity
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Lung / drug effects*
  • Oxygen / toxicity*
  • Rats


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Bleomycin
  • Deferoxamine
  • Oxygen