Hypercapnic acidosis (HCA) has protective effects in animal models of acute lung injury, but the mechanism underlying the effect of HCA is unclear. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is an antioxidant enzyme that protects tissue from inflammation injury. We investigated whether HO-1 contributes to the protective effects of HCA in ischemia-reperfusion (IR)-induced lung injury. Typical acute lung injury in rats was successfully induced by 40 min of ischemia and 90 min of reperfusion in an isolated perfused lung model. The rat lungs were randomly assigned to the control group, IR group or IR + HCA group with or without zinc protoporphyrin IX (ZnPP), an HO-1 activity inhibitor. At the end of the experiment, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung tissues were collected to evaluate the degree of lung injury. In in vitro experiments, HO-1 siRNA transfected A549 cells were exposed to a normoxic or hypoxia-reoxygenation (H/R) environment in the presence or absence of HCA. IR caused significant increases in the pulmonary arterial pressure, lung weight to body weight and wet/dry ratios, lung weight gain, capillary filtration coefficient, lung injury scores, neutrophil infiltration, and concentrations of protein and TNF-α in the BALF. IR also induced degradation of inhibitor of nuclear factor (NF)-κB-α, increased IκB kinase (IKK)-β phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of NF-κB, and up-regulated HO-1 expression and activity. Furthermore, IR decreased Bcl-2 protein expression and increased the number of active caspase-3 stained cells. HCA treatment enhanced HO-1 expression and activity, and accordingly reduced IKK-NF-κB signaling, inhibited apoptosis, and significantly attenuated IR-induced changes. Treatment with ZnPP partially blocked the protective effect of HCA. In addition, HO-1 siRNA significantly reversed HCA-mediated inhibition of NF-κB signaling in A549 cells subjected to H/R. In conclusion, the protective effect of HCA in IR lung injury in rats was mediated in part by the anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic action of HO-1. © 2013 Wu et al.
Wu, S. Y., Li, M. H., Ko, F. C., Wu, G. C., Huang, K. L., & Chu, S. J. (2013). Protective Effect of Hypercapnic Acidosis in Ischemia-Reperfusion Lung Injury Is Attributable to Upregulation of Heme Oxygenase-1. PLoS ONE, 8(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0074742