Smoke/burn injury-induced respiratory failure elicits apoptosis in ovine lungs and cultured lung cells, ameliorated with arteriovenous CO2 removal

Roger A. Vertrees, Robert Nason, Michael D. Hold, Angela M. Leeth, Frank C. Schmalstieg, Paul J. Boor, Joseph B. Zwischenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Study objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two supportive therapies, conventional mechanical ventilation (CMV) and arteriovenous CO2 removal (AVCO2R), during treatment of severe smoke/burn injury-induced ARDS. Design: Sheep were exposed to a smoke/burn injury (lethal dose causing death in 40% of animals); lung tissue and blood was collected prior to injury (control), when an ARDS criterion was met (Pao2/fraction of inspired oxygen ratio < 200), then after 72 h of either CMV (group 1) or AVCO2R (group 2). Lung tissue was studied by standard histopathologic techniques; cultured lung cells were studied in media supplemented with serum from all four groups. Measurements and results: In vivo assays demonstrate less apoptotic cell death, and in vitro assays show significantly greater (p < 0.05) cell survival in group 2 (AVCO2R) than in group 1 (CMV) or baseline. Differential gene expression demonstrates significantly higher messenger RNA levels of proapoptotic and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in cells incubated in baseline media. After exposure of cultured lung cells to conditioned media, protein expression assay of the culture medium revealed no TNF-α, TNF receptor (TNFR)-1, or TNFR-2, however, cultured cell lysate reveals elevated levels of TNF-α, TNFR-1 and caspase-3 in all groups; most occurred in cells incubated in baseline media (p < 0.05). HOECHST stain, DNA fragmentation, and caspase-3 cleavage show that AVCO2R ameliorates apoptosis in this model. Conclusions: This in vitro work specifically examines cell death in lung cells as a result of smoke/burn injury and effects of therapeutic interventions. Our in vivo studies temporally correlate the clinical pathology to that studied in these lung cells and show that both in vivo and in vitro cell death is predominantly apoptotic and is significantly reduced by AVCO2R.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1472-1482
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research supported by a grant from Shriners Hospitals for Children (No. 8530) and the Constance Marshili Shafer Endowment for Respiratory Diseases.


  • ARDS
  • Arteriovenous CO removal
  • Tumor necrosis factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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