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Open Access item In vivo antioxidant treatment protects against bleomycin-induced lung damage in rats

Authors:Serrano-Mollar, Anna
Closa, Daniel
Morcillo, E. J.
Bulbena, Oriol
Keywords:Pulmonary fibrosis, Bleomycin, Rat, N-acetylcysteine, Inflammation
Issue Date:26-Mar-2003
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
Citation:British Journal of Pharmacology 138(6): 1037–1048 (2003)
Abstract:This study examines the activity of the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine on bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in rats with emphasis on the early inflammatory phase. Rats receiving N-acetylcysteine (300 mg kg−1 day−1, intraperitoneal) had less augmented lung wet weight, and lower levels of proteins, lactate dehydrogenase, neutrophil and macrophage counts in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung myeloperoxidase activity with a betterment of histological score at 3 days postbleomycin. A diminished lung GSH/GSSG ratio and augmented lipid hydroperoxides were observed 3 days postbleomycin. These changes were attenuated by N-acetylcysteine. Alveolar macrophages from bleomycin-exposed rats released augmented amounts of superoxide anion and nitric oxide. N-Acetylcysteine did not modify superoxide anion generation but reduced the increased production of nitric oxide. N-Acetylcysteine suppressed the bleomycin-induced increased activation of lung NF-κB (shift assay and immunohistochemistry), and decreased the augmented levels of the early inflammatory cytokines, tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin-β, interleukin-6 and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 observed in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid at 1 and 3 days postbleomycin exposure. At 15 days postbleomycin, N-acetylcysteine decreased collagen deposition in bleomycin-exposed rats (hydroxyproline content: 6351±669 and 4626±288 μg per lung in drug vehicle- and N-acetylcysteine-treated rats, respectively; P<0.05). Semiquantitative histological assessment at this stage showed less collagen deposition in N-acetylcysteine-treated rats compared to those receiving bleomycin alone. These results indicate that N-acetylcysteine reduces the primary inflammatory events, thus preventing cellular damage and the subsequent development of pulmonary fibrosis in the bleomycin rat model.
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.bjp.0705138
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10261/2971
ISSN:0007-1188
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