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Phosphodiesterase 2 inhibition diminished acute lung injury in murine pneumococcal pneumonia.

Crit Care Med. 2009 Feb ;37(2):584-90. Witzenrath M, Gutbier B, Schmeck B, Tenor H, Seybold J, Kuelzer R, Grentzmann G, Hatzelmann A, van Laak V, Tschernig T, Mitchell TJ, Schudt C, Rosseau S, Suttorp N, Schütte H.


Department of Internal Medicine/Infectious and Respiratory Diseases, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.


OBJECTIVE : Severe pneumococcal pneumonia frequently causes respiratory failure. Both pathogen factors and an uncontrolled host response may contribute to acute lung injury by impairing microvascular barrier function. Phosphodiesterase 2 (PDE2) was examined as a potential target in pneumonia-induced lung microvascular hyperpermeability.

DESIGN : Controlled, in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo laboratory study.

SUBJECTS : Female Balb/C and C57Bl/6 mice, 8-12 weeks old.

INTERVENTIONS : Human umbilical vein endothelial cells and isolated mouse lungs were challenged with the pneumococcal exotoxin pneumolysin in the presence or absence of the selective PDE2 inhibitors 9-(6-phenyl-2-oxohex-3-yl)-2-(3,4-dimethoxybenzyl)-purin-6one (PDP) or hydroxy-PDP. Transcellular electrical resistance or human serum albumin leakage in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was determined, respectively. In addition, we induced pneumococcal pneumonia in mice and treated with hydroxy-PDP via continuous subcutaneous application by osmotic pumps. Human serum albumin leakage in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was measured 48 hours after transnasal infection, and lung specimens were analyzed by TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot for PDE2 gene and protein expression.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS : In isolated perfused mouse lungs and in human umbilical vein endothelial cell monolayers, selective inhibition of PDE2 markedly decreased pneumolysin-induced hyperpermeability. Furthermore, in murine pneumococcal pneumonia, pulmonary PDE2-mRNA and -protein expression was significantly increased, and pneumonia-induced vascular permeability was distinctively reduced by PDE2 inhibition.

CONCLUSIONS : PDE2 inhibition diminished microvascular leakage in pneumococcal pneumonia, and pulmonary PDE2 upregulation may play a crucial role in this respect. Selective PDE2 inhibitors thus may offer a promising therapeutic approach in severe pneumococcal pneumonia.

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