Hemorrhagic shock induces endothelial cell apoptosis, which is mediated by factors contained in mesenteric lymph

Qi Lu, Da Zhong Xu, Marson T. Davidson, György Haskó, Edwin A. Deitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Trauma-hemorrhagic shock is one of the leading causes of acute respiratory distress syndrome. This syndrome is associated with disruption of the alveolar barrier consisting of both epithelial and endothelial cells, which leads to a major increase in epithelial and microvascular permeability in the lungs. Although alveolar epithelial cell apoptosis has been documented as a contributing factor to this increase in permeability, it is unclear whether endothelial cell apoptosis occurs following trauma-hemorrhagic shock and, if so, the source of factors leading to this process. Design: Prospective animal study with concurrent control. Setting: Small-animal laboratory. Subjects: Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Interventions: Trauma-hemorrhagic shock in rats was induced by laparotomy followed by blood withdrawal to achieve a mean arterial blood pressure of 30 mm Hg for 90 mins. At the end of the shock period, the rats were resuscitated, and 3 hrs later lungs were taken for histologic analysis. In other experiments, mesenteric lymph was collected from trauma-hemorrhagic shock and trauma-sham shock rats, and the biological activity of these lymph samples was tested for their ability to kill cultured endothelial cells or endothelial cells of isolated femoral veins. Measurements and Main Results: Trauma-hemorrhagic shock triggered endothelial cell apoptosis in the lung as assessed using the Tunnel assay as well as by light and electron microscopic analysis. Since our previous studies have documented that mesenteric lymph is a major contributor to lung injury following shock, we also tested the hypothesis that factors in the mesenteric lymph were responsible for the endothelial cell apoptosis-inducing effect of shock. Preventing the mesenteric lymph from reaching the lung by mesenteric lymph duct ligation decreased endothelial cell apoptosis. Mesenteric lymph obtained from rats subjected to trauma-hemorrhagic shock elicited apoptosis in cultured endothelial cells and when placed into isolated femoral vein as well as increased endothelial cell monolayer permeability. Conclusions: Trauma-hemorrhagic shock induces endothelial as well as epithelial cell apoptosis in the lung via factors contained in the mesenteric lymph, thereby contributing to the pathophysiology of the acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2464-2470
Number of pages7
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2004


  • Cell death
  • Endothelium
  • Hemorrhage
  • Ischemia
  • Reperfusion
  • Vasculature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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