Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is an acute lung injury of high mortality rate, and the molecular mechanisms underlying it are poorly understood. Acid aspiration–induced lung injury is one of the most common causes of ARDS, characterized by an increase in lung permeability, enhanced polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) sequestration, and respiratory failure. Here, we investigated the role of platelet-activating factor (PAF) and the PAF receptor (PAFR) gene in a murine model of acid aspiration–induced lung injury. Overexpression of the PAFR gene in transgenic mice enhanced lung injury, pulmonary edema, and deterioration of gas exchange caused by HCl aspiration. Conversely, mice carrying a targeted disruption of the PAFR gene experienced significantly less acid-induced injury, edema, and respiratory failure. Nevertheless, the efficiency of PMN sequestration in response to acid aspiration was unaffected by differences in PAFR expression level. The current observations suggest that PAF is involved in the pathogenesis of acute lung injury caused by acid aspiration. Thus, inhibition of this pathway might provide a novel therapeutic approach to acute lung injury, for which no specific pharmaceutical agents are currently available.
Takahide Nagase, Satoshi Ishii, Kazuhiko Kume, Naonori Uozumi, Takashi Izumi, Yasuyoshi Ouchi, Takao Shimizu