, Volume 168, Issue 1, pp 35–42 | Cite as

Lipid peroxidation and lung ultrastructural changes in an experimental model of leukocyte-mediated pulmonary injury

  • Emma Borrelli
  • PierPaolo Giomarelli
  • Osvaldo Chiara
  • Alessandro Casini
  • Sandra Betti
  • Laura Sabatini
  • Letizia Lorenzini
  • Adalberto Grossi


The aim of this study was to study ultrastructural changes and lipid peroxidation in rabbits lung after massive complement activation and leukocyte aggregation. A prolonged and massive leukocyte activation was induced by intraperitoneal inoculation of zymosan suspended in paraffin. Fifteen animals (group 3) were given 0.6 g/kg of zymosan, 22 animals (group 2) received 1 g/kg, and 11 rabbits (group 1) were treated with paraffin alone and served as controls. An acute mortality rate of 40% was observed in group 3 and of 68% in group 2. Surviving animals were studied for 10 days. In these animals a marked decrease in circulating granulocytes and a progressive decline in arterial PO2 were recorded (PO2 on day 10 in group 2 animals was 51.94±4.26,p<0.01). Microscopic and ultrastructural evaluation revealed sequestration of granulocytes in the pulmonary microvasculature. Studies of lung homogenates demonstrated increased levels of lipid peroxide derivative malondialdehyde (group 2 rabbits, 1624±638; group 1, 795±57 pm/mg pt,p<.001) and decreased levels of the tissue antioxidant alpha-tocopherol. The results of this study are compatible with the hypothesis of leukocyte-mediated injury through production of oxygen radicals.

Key words

Leukocytes Lipid peroxidation Pulmonary injury 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emma Borrelli
    • 1
  • PierPaolo Giomarelli
    • 1
  • Osvaldo Chiara
    • 2
  • Alessandro Casini
    • 3
  • Sandra Betti
    • 1
  • Laura Sabatini
    • 4
  • Letizia Lorenzini
    • 5
  • Adalberto Grossi
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Thoracic and Cardiovascular SurgeryUniversity of SienaItaly
  2. 2.Emergency Surgery InstituteUniversity of MilanItaly
  3. 3.Institute of General PathologyUniversity of SienaItaly
  4. 4.Institute of Clinical and Microbiological ChemistryUSLUSA
  5. 5.Institute of Anatomy and Pathologic HistologyUniversity of SienaSienaItaly

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