Dose Dependence and Time Course of Smoke Inhalation Injury in a Rabbit Model
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The dose dependence and time course of smoke inhalation injury were determined in a rabbit model. Animals were insufflated with 18–90 breaths of cotton smoke or room air (control) at a rate of 18 breaths/min and tidal volume of 12 ml/kg. Smoke-exposed animals exhibited dose-related histologic effects with progressive deterioration of respiratory function during the postexposure period of observation (96 h). The smoke-exposed rabbits had reproducible injuries to both airway mucosa and lung parenchyma, manifested by disruption and sloughing of airway and alveolar epithelia, and exudation of protein-rich fluid and leukocytes into the airway and alveolar spaces. Significant effects were evident by 24 h postexposure. Smoke inhalation also affected the respiratory burst of alveolar macrophages. Generation of superoxide anions by alveolar macrophages at 48 h postexposure was increased significantly after smoke inhalation (54 breaths). The present rabbit model should be useful for studying the interactions between pulmonary epithelial cells and leukocytes after smoke inhalation and for determining the role that abnormal functioning of alveolar macrophages plays in the development of smoke inhalation injury.
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