Hydroxychloroquine attenuates sepsis-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome in rats

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2024 Jul;30(7):465-471. doi: 10.14744/tjtes.2024.98855.


Background: This study investigates the effects of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) on a sepsis-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) model in rats, initiated by a fecal intraperitoneal injection procedure (FIP).

Methods: Three groups were established: control (n=8), FIP + saline (n=7), and FIP + HCQ (20 mg/kg/day) (n=9). Blood samples were collected for arterial blood gas and biochemical analyses, and bilateral pneumonectomy was performed for histopathologic examination.

Results: In the FIP + saline group, PaO2 decreased and PaCO2 increased, whereas these levels normalized in the FIP + HCQ group compared to the control (p<0.001 and p<0.05, respectively). Histopathological scores for alveolar congestion, perivascular/interstitial edema, hemorrhage in alveolar tissue, leukocyte infiltration or aggregation in air spaces/vascular walls, and alveolar wall/hyaline membrane thickness increased in the FIP + saline group compared to the control group (p<0.01). These scores decreased in the FIP + HCQ group compared to the FIP + saline group (p<0.01). HCQ reversed the sepsis-induced increase in malondialdehyde, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6, and lactic acid.

Conclusion: HCQ may be an effective and safe option to mitigate the severe progression of ARDS.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Gas Analysis
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Hydroxychloroquine* / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome* / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome* / etiology
  • Sepsis* / complications
  • Sepsis* / drug therapy


  • Hydroxychloroquine