Pulmonary injury with leukocyte infiltration is a frequent occurrence in obstructive cholangitis patients. We wished to evaluate the roles of reactive oxygen species and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in this distant organ failure. Wild type (WT) and transgenic (SODtg) mice overexpressing superoxide dismutase underwent bile duct ligation and transection (BDL). VCAM-1 expression was quantified, and histopathology was assessed for the liver and lung. BDL resulted in increased leukocyte infiltration to the lung at five days in WT mice. VCAM-1 expression significantly increased in WT mouse liver at three days and WT mouse lung at five days. When these same experiments were performed in SODtg mice, these increases in leukocyte infiltration and VCAM-1 expression in lung were significantly attenuated. These data suggest that reactive oxygen species produced in response to BDL may up-regulate VCAM-1 expression in the lung and play an important role in the pathophysiology of this pulmonary injury.
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