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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Staphylococcal alpha-toxin induced ventilation-perfusion mismatch in isolated blood-free perfused rabbit lungs.

Gas exchange conditions in blood-free perfused isolated rabbit lungs were assessed by the use of the multiple inert gas elimination technique. Under baseline conditions, unimodal narrow distribution of perfusion and ventilation to midrange-ventilation-perfusion (VA/Q) areas was noted. Intravascular challenge with staphylococcal alpha-toxin caused a rapid increase in pulmonary arterial pressure (to > 40 mmHg within approximately 15 min) and delayed-onset (> 10-15 min) lung edema formation, with unaltered ventilation pressures. The vasoconstrictor response was paralleled by a progressive, severe leftward shift of perfusion to areas with low-VA/Q ratios, accompanied by a minor fraction of shunt flow. At pulmonary arterial pressures > 40 mmHg, extreme VA/Q mismatch with near absence of perfusate flow to midrange-VA/Q areas was registered. Vasoconstrictor response and VA/Q mismatch, but not the progressive edema formation, were virtually completely suppressed in lungs pretreated with acetylsalicylic acid or the thromboxane receptor antagonist BM 13505. Moreover, "rescue" application of BM 13505 after onset of alpha-toxin-induced pressor response and gas exchange abnormalities completely reversed pressure elevation and loss of VA/Q matching. We conclude that the marked vasoconstrictor response to staphylococcal alpha-toxin is paralleled by severe VA/Q mismatch with predominant perfusion of low-VA/Q areas independent of lung edema formation. Pressor response and VA/Q mismatch, but not vascular leakage, are suppressed by thromboxane inhibition.[1]


  1. Staphylococcal alpha-toxin induced ventilation-perfusion mismatch in isolated blood-free perfused rabbit lungs. Walmrath, D., Scharmann, M., König, R., Pilch, J., Grimminger, F., Seeger, W. J. Appl. Physiol. (1993) [Pubmed]
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