Lung is a major site of prostaglandin synthesis and degradation. One site of metabolism has been shown to be the endothelial cell. Metabolism of prostaglandins has been shown to be influenced by both physiological and pathological mechanism. Furthermore, it has been suggested that a relationship might exist between pulmonary disease and the lung's ability to synthesize and/or degrade prostaglandins. Therefore, we evaluated if bleomycin-induced fibrosis, a model of human pulmonary fibrosis, affects the ability of lung to metabolize prostaglandins. Single pass metabolism of prostaglandin E2 was evaluated in an isolated, perfused and ventilated lung of hamsters at 5 and 500 nM concentrations 4, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days after intratracheal bleomycin. The metabolism of prostaglandin E2 was not changed at the 5 nM level, but was significantly decreased at 500 nM level on day 24 and day 28 after intratracheal bleomycin. The results suggest that intratracheal bleomycin causes alterations in prostaglandin metabolism; the mechanism(s) is unknown but may be related to endothelial cell damage and possible changes in alveolar-capillary surface area.
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