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Critical Care and Emergency Medicine - Immunology - Molecular Biology

Using the One-Lung Method to Link p38 to Pro-Inflammatory Gene Expression during Overventilation in C57BL/6 and BALB/c Mice
Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Author: Stephanie Siegl et al.

by Stephanie Siegl, Stefan Uhlig


The mechanisms of ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI), including the role of MAP kinases, are frequently studied in different mouse strains. A useful model for such studies is the isolated perfused mouse lung. As a further development we present the one-lung method that permits to continue perfusion and ventilation of the right lung after removal of the left lung. This method was used to compare the effect of high pressure ventilation (HPV) on pro-inflammatory signaling events in two widely used mouse strains (C57BL/6, BALB/c) and to further define the role of p38 in VILI.


Lungs were perfused and ventilated for 30 min under control conditions before they were randomized to low (8 cm H2O) or high (25 cm H2O) pressure ventilation (HPV) for 210 min, with the left lung being removed after 180 min. In the left lung we measured the phosphorylation of p38, JNK, ERK and Akt kinase, and in the right lung gene expression and protein concentrations of Il1b, Il6, Tnf, Cxcl1, Cxcl2, and Areg.


Lung mechanics and kinase activation were similar in both mouse strains. HPV increased all genes (except Tnf in BALB/c) and all mediators in both strains. The gene expression of mRNA for Il1b, Il6, Cxcl1 and Cxcl2 was higher in BALB/c mice. Backward regression of the kinase data at t?=?180 min with the gene and protein expression data at t?=?240 min suggested that p38 controls HPV-induced gene expression, but not protein production. This hypothesis was confirmed in experiments with the p38-kinase inhibitor SB203580.


The one-lung method is useful for mechanistic studies in the lungs. While C57BL/6 show diminished pro-inflammatory responses during HPV, lung mechanics and mechanotransduction processes appear to be similar in both mouse strains. Finally, the one-lung method allowed us to link p38 to gene expression during VILI.