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Tuesday 01 June 2004

Malnutrition impairs alveolar fluid clearance in rat lungs.

By: Sakuma T, Zhao Y, Sugita M, Sagawa M, Toga H, Ishibashi T, Nishio M, Matthay MA.

Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2004 Jun;286(6):L1268-74

Inadequate nutrition complicates the clinical course of critically ill patients, and many of these patients develop pulmonary edema. However, little is known about the effect of malnutrition on the mechanisms that resolve alveolar edema. Therefore, we studied the mechanisms responsible for the decrease in alveolar fluid clearance in rats exposed to malnutrition. Rats were allowed access to water, but not to food, for 120 h. Then, the left and right lungs were isolated for the measurement of lung water volume and alveolar fluid clearance, respectively. The rate of alveolar fluid clearance was measured by the progressive increase in the concentration of Evans blue dye that was instilled into the distal air spaces with an isosmolar 5% albumin solution over 1 h. Malnutrition decreased alveolar fluid clearance by 38% compared with controls. Amiloride (10(-3) M) abolished alveolar fluid clearance in malnourished rats. Either refeeding for 120 h following nutritional deprivation for 120 h or an oral supply of sodium glutamate during nutritional deprivation for 120 h restored alveolar fluid clearance to 91 and 86% of normal, respectively. Dibutyryl-cGMP, a cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channel agonist, increased alveolar fluid clearance in malnourished rats supplied with sodium glutamate. Terbutaline, a beta(2)-adrenergic agonist, increased alveolar fluid clearance in rats under all conditions (control, malnutrition, refeeding, and glutamate-treated). These results indicate that malnutrition impairs primarily amiloride-insensitive and dibutyryl-cGMP-sensitive alveolar fluid clearance, but this effect is partially reversible by refeeding, treatment with sodium glutamate, or beta-adrenergic agonist therapy.

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