Moderate oxygen augments lipopolysaccharide-induced lung injury in mice

Neil R. Aggarwal, Franco R. D'Alessio, Kenji Tsushima, D. Clark Files, Mahendra Damarla, Venkataramana K. Sidhaye, Mostafa M. Fraig, Vsevolod Y. Polotsky, Landon S. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Despite the associated morbidity and mortality, underlying mechanisms leading to the development of acute lung injury (ALI) remain incompletely understood. Frequently, ALI develops in the hospital, coinciding with institution of various therapies, including the use of supplemental oxygen. Although pathological evidence of hyperoxia-induced ALI in humans has yet to be proven, animal studies involving high oxygen concentration reproducibly induce ALI. The potentially injurious role of lower and presumably safer oxygen concentrations has not been well characterized in any species. We hypothesized that in the setting of a preexisting insult to the lung, the addition of moderate-range oxygen can augment lung injury. Our model of low-dose intratracheal LPS (IT LPS) followed by 60% oxygen caused a significant increase in ALI compared with LPS or oxygen alone with increased alveolar neutrophils, histological injury, and epithelial barrier permeability. In the LPS plus oxygen group, regulatory T cell number was reduced, and macrophage activation markers were increased, compared with LPS alone. Antibody-mediated depletion of neutrophils significantly abrogated the observed lung injury for all measured factors. The enhanced presence of alveolar neutrophils in the setting of LPS and oxygen is due, at least in part, to elevated chemokine gradients signaling neutrophils to the alveolar space. We believe these results strongly support an effect of lower concentrations of oxygen to augment the severity of a mild preexisting lung injury and warrants further investigation in both animals and humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L371-L381
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Chemokine
  • Macrophage
  • Neutrophils
  • Regulatory T cell
  • Supplemental oxygen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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