Author(s): Jesmin S, Zaedi S, Islam AM, Sultana SN, Iwashima Y,
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Abstract Molecular mechanisms of sepsis-associated acute lung injury (ALI) are poorly defined. Since vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent vascular permeability and mitogenic factor, it might contribute to the development of ALI in sepsis. Thus, using lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced (15 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) endotoxemic rat model, we studied the timeline (1, 3, 6, and 10 h) of pulmonary VEGF expression and its signaling machinery. Levels of pulmonary VEGF and its angiogenic-mediating receptor, Flk-1, were downregulated by LPS in a time-dependent manner; levels of plasma VEGF and its permeability-mediating receptor, Flt-1, in contrast, was upregulated with time. In addition, blockade of Flt-1 could improve the downregulated pulmonary VEGF level and attenuate the elevated plasma and pulmonary levels of TNF-α, followed by improvement of arterial oxygenation and wet-to-dry weight ratio of the lung. Expression of signaling, pro- and or apoptotic factors after LPS administration were as follows: phosphorylated Akt, a downstream molecule was downregulated time dependently; endothelial nitric oxide synthase levels were significantly reduced; pro-apoptotic markers caspase 3 and Bax were upregulated whereas levels of Bcl-2 were downregulated. The present findings show that VEGF may play a role through the expression of Flt-1 in LPS-induced ALI. Moreover, downregulation of VEGF signaling cascade may account for LPS-induced apoptosis and impaired physiological angiogenesis in lung tissues, which in turn may contribute to the development of ALI induced by LPS.
This article was published in Inflammation
and referenced in Cardiovascular Pharmacology: Open Access