The effect of platelet depletion on the unanesthetized sheep's pulmonary response to endotoxemia was studied in eight unanesthetized sheep. Platelets were depleted with rabbit anti-sheep platelet antibodies (APA). Bolus injections of APA alone caused marked pulmonary hypertension (PPA increased from 21 +/- 2 to 62 +/- 5 cm H2O +/- SE) and alterations in lung mechanics (dynamic compliance of the lung [Cdyn] decreased to 38.5 +/- 4.6% and resistance to air flow across the lung [RL] increased to 705 +/- 162% +/- SE of control), which were attenuated by pretreatment with meclofenamate. It was possible to deplete platelets before endotoxemia through a slow continuous infusion of APA without altering base-line values of the measured variables. Platelet depletion did not significantly attenuate the alterations in pulmonary hemodynamics, lung mechanics, lung fluid and solute exchange, or the normal increase in lung lymph concentrations of thromboxane B2 or 6-keto-PGF1 alpha observed following endotoxemia in the sheep. We conclude that normal circulating platelet counts are not required for the full expression of the sheep's response to endotoxemia.
J R Snapper, J M Hinson Jr, A A Hutchison, P L Lefferts, M L Ogletree, K L Brigham