We recently reported that wood smoke inhalation initially (within 5 min) causes airway injury and subsequently produces both airway and parenchymal injury after a delay (within 2 h). In this study, we investigated the mediator mechanisms of this delayed smoke-induced lung injury in 126 anesthetized and artificially ventilated guinea pigs who received challenges of either air or 40 tidal breaths of wood smoke. Two hours after inhalation, wood smoke produced various injurious responses, including increases in alveolar-capillary permeability, microvascular permeabilities, and histological injury scores, in airway and parenchymal tissues. Pre-treatment given before smoke challenge with CP-96,345 [a tachykinin NK1 receptor antagonist; (2S,3S)-cis-2-(diphenylmethyl)-N-((2-methoxyphenyl)-methyl)-1-aza bicyclo(2.2.2.)-octan-3-amine], dimethylthiourea (a hydroxyl radical scavenger), or a combination of these two drugs largely alleviated both the airway and parenchymal responses, whereas pre-treatment with SR-48,968 [a tachykinin NK2 receptor antagonist; (S)-N-methyl-N(4-(4-acetylamino-4-phenylpiperidino)-2-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)- butyl)benzamide] or a combination of CP-96,344 and SR-48,965 (inactive enantiomers) failed to do so. Post-treatment given at 5 min after smoke challenge with CP-96,345 or dimethylthiourea significantly alleviated the parenchymal responses, while having no effect on the airway responses. Pre-treatment with dimethylthiourea prevented the smoke-induced reduction in airway neutral endopeptidase activity (an enzyme for tachykinin degradation). We concluded that (1) tachykinins and hydroxyl radical play important roles in producing smoke-induced delayed lung injury in guinea pigs, and both may be involved in the spread of injury from the airways to the pulmonary parenchyma, and (2) the contribution of tachykinins is mediated via the activation of tachykinin NK1 receptors, and is associated with the hydroxyl radical-induced inactivation of airway neutral endopeptidase.
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