Pulmonary capillary perfusion: intra-alveolar fractal patterns and interalveolar independence.
Pulmonary capillary perfusion was analyzed from videomicroscopic recordings to determine flow switching characteristics among capillary segments in isolated, blood-perfused canine lungs. Within each alveolus, the rapid switching pattern was repetitive and was, therefore, nonrandom (fractal dimensions near 1.0). This self-similarity over time was unexpected in a network widely considered to be passive. Among adjacent alveoli, the relationship among the switching patterns was even more surprising, for there was virtually no relationship between the perfusion patterns (coefficients of determination approaching zero). These findings demonstrated that the perfusion patterns in individual alveolar walls were independent of their next-door neighbors. The lack of dependence among neighboring networks suggests an interesting characteristic: the failure of one alveolar-capillary bed would leave its neighbors relatively unaffected, a feature of a robust design. (+info
Acinar flow irreversibility caused by perturbations in reversible alveolar wall motion.
Mixing associated with "stretch-and-fold" convective flow patterns has recently been demonstrated to play a potentially important role in aerosol transport and deposition deep in the lung (J. P. Butler and A. Tsuda. J. Appl. Physiol. 83: 800-809, 1997), but the origin of this potent mechanism is not well characterized. In this study we hypothesized that even a small degree of asynchrony in otherwise reversible alveolar wall motion is sufficient to cause flow irreversibility and stretch-and-fold convective mixing. We tested this hypothesis using a large-scale acinar model consisting of a T-shaped junction of three short, straight, square ducts. The model was filled with silicone oil, and alveolar wall motion was simulated by pistons in two of the ducts. The pistons were driven to generate a low-Reynolds-number cyclic flow with a small amount of asynchrony in boundary motion adjusted to match the degree of geometric (as distinguished from pressure-volume) hysteresis found in rabbit lungs (H. Miki, J. P. Butler, R. A. Rogers, and J. Lehr. J. Appl. Physiol. 75: 1630-1636, 1993). Tracer dye was introduced into the system, and its motion was monitored. The results showed that even a slight asynchrony in boundary motion leads to flow irreversibility with complicated swirling tracer patterns. Importantly, the kinematic irreversibility resulted in stretching of the tracer with narrowing of the separation between adjacent tracer lines, and when the cycle-by-cycle narrowing of lateral distance reached the slowly growing diffusion distance of the tracer, mixing abruptly took place. This coupling of evolving convective flow patterns with diffusion is the essence of the stretch-and-fold mechanism. We conclude that even a small degree of boundary asynchrony can give rise to stretch-and-fold convective mixing, thereby leading to transport and deposition of fine and ultrafine aerosol particles deep in the lung. (+info
Regulation of an amiloride-sensitive Na+-permeable channel by a beta2-adrenergic agonist, cytosolic Ca2+ and Cl- in fetal rat alveolar epithelium.
1. In cell-attached patches formed on the apical membrane of fetal alveolar epithelium, terbutaline (a specific beta2-adrenergic agonist) increased the open probability (Po) of an amiloride-sensitive Na+-permeable non-selective cation (NSC) channel (control, 0.03 +/- 0.04; terbutaline, 0.62 +/- 0.18; n = 8, P < 0. 00001) by increasing the mean open time 100-fold without any significant change in the mean closed time and without any change in the single channel conductance (control, 27.8 +/- 2.3 pS; terbutaline, 28.2 +/- 2.1 pS; n = 8). 2. The Po of the unstimulated channel increased when the apical membrane was depolarized due to a decrease in the closing rate and an increase in the opening rate, while the Po of the terbutaline-stimulated channel did not depend on the membrane potential. 3. Increased cytosolic [Ca2+] also increased the Po of the channel in a manner consistent with one Ca2+-binding site on the cytosolic surface of the channel. Terbutaline increased the sensitivity of the channel to cytosolic Ca2+ by shifting the concentration of cytosolic Ca2+ ([Ca2+]c) required for half-maximal activation to a lower [Ca2+]c value, leading to an increase in Po. 4. An increase in the cytosolic Cl- concentration ([Cl-]c) decreased the Po of the channel consistent with two Cl--binding sites by increasing the closing rate without any significant change in the opening rate. Terbutaline increased Po by reducing the effect of cytosolic Cl- to promote channel closing. 5. Taken together, these observations indicate that terbutaline activates a Ca2+-activated, Cl--inhibitable, amiloride-sensitive, Na+-permeable NSC channel in fetal rat alveolar epithelium in two ways: first, through an increase in Ca2+ sensitivity, and second, through a reduction in the effect of cytosolic Cl- to promote channel closing. (+info
Opportunistic Pneumocystis carinii infection in red-bellied tamarins (Saguinus labiatus).
P. carinii infection in red-bellied tamarins (Saguinus labiatus), born and maintained in a laboratory breeding colony, was examined by histopathologic examination postmortem. P. carinii cysts were detected in 6 of 10 red-bellied tamarins examined, by using Grocott's, toluidine blue O and immunostaining with avidin-biotin complex using antisera for rat-, simian-, and human-P. carinii. The results obtained from the present studies imply that P. carinii may be an important pathogen in this species. (+info
Acute saline infusion reduces alveolar-capillary membrane conductance and increases airflow obstruction in patients with left ventricular dysfunction.
BACKGROUND: Impaired alveolar-capillary membrane conductance is the major cause for the reduction in pulmonary diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) in heart failure. Whether this reduction is fixed, reflecting pulmonary microvascular damage, or is variable is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess whether DLCO and its subdivisions, alveolar-capillary membrane conductance (DM) and pulmonary capillary blood volume (Vc), were sensitive to changes in intravascular volume. In addition, we examined the effects of volume loading on airflow rates. METHODS AND RESULTS: Ten patients with left ventricular dysfunction (LVD) and 8 healthy volunteers were studied. DM and Vc were determined by the Roughton and Forster method. The forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), vital capacity, and peak expiratory flow rates (PEFR) were also recorded. In patients with LVD, infusion of 10 mL. kg-1 body wt of 0.9% saline acutely reduced DM (12.0+/-3.3 versus 10.4+/-3.5 mmol. min-1. kPa-1, P<0.005), FEV1 (2.3+/-0.4 versus 2.1+/-0.4 L, P<0.0005), and PEFR (446+/-55 versus 414+/-56 L. min-1, P<0.005). All pulmonary function tests had returned to baseline values 24 hours later. In normal subjects, saline infusion had no measurable effect on lung function. CONCLUSIONS: Acute intravascular volume expansion impairs alveolar-capillary membrane function and increases airflow obstruction in patients with LVD but not in normal subjects. Thus, the abnormalities of pulmonary diffusion in heart failure, which were believed to be fixed, also have a variable component that could be amenable to therapeutic intervention. (+info
TNF-alpha increases ceramide without inducing apoptosis in alveolar type II epithelial cells.
Ceramide is a bioactive lipid mediator that has been observed to induce apoptosis in vitro. The purpose of this study was to determine whether endogenous ceramide, generated in response to in vivo administration of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), increases apoptosis in primary rat alveolar type II epithelial cells. Intratracheal instillation of TNF-alpha (5 microgram) produced a decrease in sphingomyelin and activation of a neutral sphingomyelinase. These changes were associated with a significant increase in lung ceramide content. TNF-alpha concomitantly activated the p42/44 extracellular signal-related kinases and induced nuclear factor-kappaB activation in the lung. Hypodiploid nuclei studies revealed that intratracheal TNF-alpha did not increase type II cell apoptosis compared with that in control cells after isolation. A novel observation from separate in vitro studies demonstrated that type II cells undergo a gradual increase in apoptosis after time in culture, a process that was accelerated by exposure of cells to ultraviolet light. However, culture of cells with a cell-permeable ceramide, TNF-alpha, or a related ligand, anti-CD95, did not increase apoptosis above the control level. The results suggest that ceramide resulting from TNF-alpha activation of sphingomyelin hydrolysis might activate the mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-kappaB pathways without increasing programmed cell death in type II cells. (+info
Pattern of total and regional lung function in subjects with bronchoconstriction induced by 15-me PGF2 alpha.
Closing volume (single breath nitrogen test), regional ventilation and perfusion (using intravenous xenon-133), and total lung function (TLC, VC, and FEV) were measured before and after intramuscular administration of 250 mug 15-methyl prostaglandin F2alpha (15-me PGF2alpha) in 10 healthy women. The cardiac output was measured with the Minnesota impedance cardiograph model 304A and the transthoracic impedance was used as an expression of the thoracic fluid volume. The slope of the alveolar plateau on the closing volume tracing showed a 271% increase 20 minutes after the prostaglandin administration, at which time the closing volume per cent (CV%) had decreased (P less than 0-01) and the closing capacity (CC%) had increased (P less than 0-05). Vital capacity (VC) decreased (P less than 0-01), residual volume (RV) increased (P less than 0-01), and the total lung capacity (TLC) remained unchanged. The maximal decrease (9%) in FEV1 was seen after 20 minutes. All these measurements except the slope of the alveolar plateau returned to control levels after 60 minutes. The redistribution of regional ventilation was more pronounced than that of the regional pulmonary blood flow. No change was observed in cardiac output and transthoracic impedance. None of the patients experienced any dyspnoea. Our results are consistent with a more pronounced effect of prostaglandin F2alpha on the small airways (the alveolar plateau) than on the larger airways (FEV1). In cases where an increase in the slope of the alveolar plateau is observed, the closing volume per cent should not be used as a measurement of the lung disease. It is concluded that the single breath nitrogen test (N2 closing volume) is more sensitive than the conventional tests. (+info
Apoptosis is a pathway responsible for the resolution of endotoxin-induced alveolar type II cell hyperplasia in the rat.
Previous studies showed that intratracheal instillation of endotoxin induces transient type II cell hyperplasia in the rat lung and described some of the mechanisms involved in the proliferative response of type II cells. The purpose of the present study was to investigate how long the type II cell hyperplasia persists and how it is resolved. The portion of epithelial cells in hyperplastic lesions of the rat lung expressing cyclin D1, an indicator for cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, was greatest at 3 d post instillation and decreased after 4 and 6 d. The fate of the proliferating epithelial cells was traced by injecting the rats with 5-bromo-2' deoxy uridine (BrdU) 2 d post instillation, the peak time point for maximum incorporation of BrdU. Exfoliated BrdU-positive epithelial cells were detected in the alveolar spaces in tissue sections from rats 4, 5, and 6 d post instillation. BrdU-positive epithelial cells showed flattened nuclei at 6 and 10 d post instillation. Expression of the 116 kD poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) was low in type II cells from control rats, and was increased at 3, 4, and 6 d post instillation. In cells obtained by lavage, only a 35 kD cleavage product of PARP was detected, which is an indicator of necrotic cell death. In isolated type II cells from rats 3, 4, and 6 d post endotoxin instillation, progressive cleavage of the PARP to its 89 kD residual fragment was detected, which is a direct evidence for the activation of caspases. Furthermore, apoptotic epithelial cells with condensed nuclei were identified by electron microscopy in rats 4 d post instillation. These results indicate that apoptosis is an additional mechanism for the resolution of endotoxin-induced lung epithelial hyperplasias. (+info