Inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis by L-name exacerbates acute lung injury induced by hepatic ischemia-reperfusion

Peitan Liu, Baohuan Xu, Carl E. Hock

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25 Scopus citations


Hepatic Kupffer cells and pulmonary alveolar macrophages together constitute a macrophage-axis involved in the regulation of regional and systemic inflammatory responses. Systemic inflammatory response syndrome induced by overproduced pro-inflammatory mediators is the major cause of adult respiratory distress syndrome. In the present study, we examined the anti-inflammatory role of nitric oxide (NO) in a rat model of acute lung injury induced by hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (HI/R). The left and median lobes of the liver were subjected to 30 min of ischemia by clamping the relevant branches of hepatic artery and portal vein, followed by a 4-h reperfusion achieved by removal of the vascular clamp. Four groups of animals were studied: sham control + saline; sham control + Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 10 mg/kg, i.v., 10 min before reperfusion); HI/R + saline; HI/R + L-NAME. Results show that (1) administration of L-NAME to rats subjected to HI/R decreased plasma NO levels; however, the attenuation of NO increased plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity and superoxide generation in the ischemic lobes of liver, compared to HI/R alone. (2) Inhibition of NO synthesis with L-NAME in rats subjected to HI/R also enhanced systemic inflammatory response as assessed by the increase in the number of circulating leukocytes and levels of plasma tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) and interleukin 1-beta (IL-1β). (3) The overwhelming systemic inflammatory response induced by administration of L-NAME in rats subjected to HI/R also augmented pulmonary vascular permeability and superoxide generation in the lung tissue. (4) Pulmonary alveolar macrophages isolated from rats subjected to HI/R + L-NAME produced higher levels of TNFα and IL-1β in the supernatant of culture medium than that of rats subjected to HI/R alone. (5) There were no differences between the groups of sham + saline and sham + L-NAME in terms of plasma NO levels and ALT activity, circulating leukocytes, superoxide generation in the liver and lung, lavage protein levels, and TNFα and IL-1β levels in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Our results suggest that inhibition of NO synthesis by L-NAME in rats subjected to HI/R not only augments ischemic liver injury, but also enhances the systemic inflammatory response and exacerbates remote lung injury. The increase in TNFα and IL-1β production by alveolar macrophages may, in part, account for L-NAME-induced enhancement of acute lung injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-217
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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