Impairment of antibacterial defense mechanisms of the lung by extrapulmonary infection

Jon C. White, Steve Nelson, Jerry A. Winkelstein, Frank V. Frank, George J. Jakab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


To determine whether extrapulmonary infection alters antibacterial defenses of the lung, we challenged mice with peritonitis due to Escherichia coli by aerosol inhalation with either Staphylococus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In animals without peritonitis, 14% ± 5% and 11% ± 1% of the initially deposited viable S. aureus and R aeruginosa, respectively, remained in the lungs at 4 hr. In contrast, in mice with peritonitis, at 4 hr 45% ± 9% of the staphylococci were recoved, and the R aeruginosa had increased to 948% ± 354% of the initial inoculum. Proliferation of R aeruginosa in mice with peritonitis was associated with impaired recruitment of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) into the lungs. In contrast, a noninfectious stimulus induced more PMNs into the peritoneal cavity than did intraabdominal sepsis but only minimally impaired PMN recruitment into the lungs after aerosol challenge with R aeruginosa. Sterile intraperitoneal stimulation did not significantly impair intrapulmonary killing of R aeruginosa. Levels of antigenic C3 and functionally active C5 were significantly depleted in mice with peritonitis due to E. coli. We conclude that the systemic effects of sepsis, including complement depletion, contribute to the decreased pulmonary PMN recruitment and to impaired intrapulmonary bacterial killing of animals with peritonitis due to E. coli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-208
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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