LOW MOLECULAR WEIGHT HEPARIN PREVENTS THE PULMONARY HEMODYNAMIC AND PATHOMORPHOLOGIC EFFECTS OF ENDOTOXIN IN A PORCINE ACUTE LUNG INJURY MODEL

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) activity, platelet and neutrophil degranulation and margination, and increased vascular permeability are central to the pathophysiology of endotoxin-mediated acute lung injury. Nonanticoagulant activities of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) include solubilization of the TNF-α receptor protein, inhibition of neutrophil adhesion, and regulation of thromboxane B2 (TXB2) biosynthesis. In this study, we evaluated the ability of LMWH to modulate TNF-α and TXB2 activity during endotoxemia and the subsequent effects on pulmonary hemodynamics. Domestic pigs 8–10 weeks old were anesthetized and catheterized for standard cardiopulmonary measurements and the lungs harvested for cuff:vessel ratio, myeloperoxidase activity, and permeability index. Pigs were randomly assigned to one of four groups: lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (n = 6), given .5 μg/kg/h Escherichia coli LPS intravenously for 6 h; saline control (n = 5); LMWH (n = 5), given .5 mg/kg LMWH for 30 min, followed by .5 mg/kg/h; and LMWH + LPS (same dosages, n = 6). Administration of LPS resulted in increased plasma TNF-α and TXB2 activity; increased pulmonary arterial pressure, pulmonary vascular resistance, and alveolar-arterial oxygen tension; decreased systemic arterial oxygen tension; and pulmonary edema. The cardiopulmonary parameters for the LMWH-treated pigs did not differ from those of the saline-treated control pigs. Pretreatment with LMWH attenuated the LPS-mediated TNF-α and TXB2 activity and attenuated LPS-mediated pulmonary hypertension, hypoxemia and neutrophil emigration, and edema formation. In conclusion, the data show that the protective effects of LMWH in this model of acute lung injury are associated with altered neutrophil adhesion and TNF-α and thromboxane activity.

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