We recently demonstrated that the non-selective endothelin-1 (ET-1) receptor blocker tezosentan antagonizes ovine acute lung injury (ALI) following infusion of endotoxin or ET-1 by reducing the enhanced lung microvascular pressure, although we could not exclude the possibility of a simultaneous decline in microvascular permeability. In the present study, our aim was to find out if tezosentan reverses the rise in microvascular filtration coefficient (Kfc) in rat lungs that have been isolated and perfused 12 h after cecum ligation and puncture (CLP) or infusion of ET-1.
Wistar rats (n = 42) were subjected to CLP. Postoperatively, rats were randomized to a CLP group (n = 7) and a CLP + tezosentan group (n = 7); the latter received tezosentan 30 mg/kg. A sham-operated group (n = 5) underwent laparotomy without CLP. Twelve hours postoperatively, the lungs were isolated and perfused with blood from similarly treated rats that also were used to assess plasma concentration of ET-1 and protein kinase Cα (PKCα) in lung tissue. Additionally, isolated blood perfused lungs from healthy rats were randomized to a control group (n = 8), an ET-1 group (n = 7) subjected to pulmonary arterial injection of ET-1 10 nM, and an ET-1 + tezosentan group (n = 7) that received tezosentan 30 mg/kg. All lung preparations received papaverine 0.1 μg/kg added to the perfusate for vasoplegia. Pulmonary hemodynamic variables, Kfc and lung compliance (CL) were assessed.
After CLP, the plasma concentration of ET-1 increased. Papaverine abolished the vasoconstrictor response to ET-1 and the pulmonary vascular pressures remained close to baseline throughout the experiments. Both CLP and injection of ET-1 caused significant changes in Kfc and CL that were prevented in tezosentan-treated rats. Compared to sham-operated animals, CLP increased the content of PKCα by 50% and 70% in the cytosolic and the membrane fractions of lung tissue homogenates, respectively. Tezosentan prevented the upregulation of PKCα in the membrane fraction.
In rat lungs isolated and perfused after CLP, tezosentan precludes both the increase in Kfc and the upregulation of PKCα in the membrane fraction of lung tissue.||en