Shock. 2023 Aug 1;60(2):272-279. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0000000000002161. Epub 2023 Jun 14.


Background : Overall outcomes for trauma patients have improved over time. However, mortality for postinjury sepsis is unchanged. The use of relevant preclinical studies remains necessary to understand mechanistic changes after injury and sepsis at the cellular and molecular level. We hypothesized that a preclinical rodent model of multicompartmental injury with postinjury pneumonia and chronic stress would replicate inflammation and organ injury similar to trauma patients in the intensive care unit. Methods : Male and proestrus female Sprague-Dawley rats ( n = 16/group) were subjected to either polytrauma (PT) (lung contusion, hemorrhagic shock, cecectomy, and bifemoral pseudofracture), PT with daily chronic restraint stress (PT/CS), PT with postinjury day one Pseudomonas pneumonia (PT + PNA), PT/CS with pneumonia (PT/CS + PNA) or naive controls. Weight, white blood cell count, plasma toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), urine norepinephrine (NE), hemoglobin, serum creatinine, and bilateral lung histology were evaluated. Results : PT + PNA and PT/CS + PNA groups lost more weight compared with those without sepsis (PT, PT/CS) and naive rats ( P < 0.03). Similarly, both PT + PNA and PT/CS + PNA had increased leukocytosis and plasma TLR4 compared with uninfected counterparts. Urine NE was elevated in PT + PNA and PT/CS + PNA compared with naive ( P < 0.03), with PT/CS + PNA exhibiting the highest levels. PT/CS + PNA exhibited worse acute kidney injury with elevated serum creatinine compared with PT/CS ( P = 0.008). PT/CS + PNA right and left lung injury scores were worse than PT + PNA ( P < 0.01). Conclusions : Sepsis, with postinjury pneumonia, induced significant systemic inflammation, organ dysfunction following polytrauma and chronic stress. Advanced animal models that replicate the critically ill human condition will help overcome the classic limitations of previous experimental models and enhance their translational value.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Relevance
  • Creatinine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Male
  • Multiple Trauma* / complications
  • Pneumonia*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sepsis*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4


  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Creatinine