Neutrophils in reexpansion pulmonary edema

R. M. Jackson, C. F. Veal, C. B. Alexander, A. L. Brannen, J. D. Fulmer

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34 Scopus citations


This study investigated the possible contribution of neutrophils to development of reexpansion pulmonary edema (RPE) in rabbits. Rabbits' right lungs were collapsed for 7 days and then reexpanded with negative intrathoracic pressure for 2 h before study, a model that creates unilateral edema in the reexpanded lungs but not in contralateral left lungs. Two hours after lung reexpansion, significant increases in lavage albumin concentration (17-fold), percent neutrophils (14-fold), and total number of neutrophils (7-fold) recovered occurred in the reexpanded lung but not in the left. After 2 h of reexpansion increased leukotriene B4 was detected in lavage supernatant from right lungs (335 ± 33 pg/ml) compared with the left (110 ± 12 pg/mg, P < 0.01), and right lung lavage acid phosphatase activity similarly increased (6.67 ± 0.35 U/l) compared with left (4.73 ± 0.60 U/l, P < 0.05). Neutropenia induced by nitrogen mustard (17 ± 14 > neutrophils/μl) did not prevent RPE, because reexpanded lungs from six neutropenic rabbits were edematous (wet-to-dry lung weight ratio 6.34 ± 0.43) compared with their contralateral lungs (4.97 ± 0.04, P < 0.01). An elevated albumin concentration in reexpanded lung lavage from neutropenic rabbits (8-fold) confirmed an increase in permeability. Neutrophil depletion before reexpansion did not prevent unilateral edema, although neutrophils were absent from lung sections and alveolar lavage fluid from neutropenic rabbits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-234
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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