Heme oxygenase-dependent carbon monoxide production is a hepatic adaptive response to sepsis JOURNAL OF SURGICAL RESEARCH Downard, P. J., Wilson, M. A., Spain, D. A., Matheson, P. J., Siow, Y., Garrison, R. N. 1997; 71 (1): 7-12


The hemodynamic effects of sepsis have been attributed in part to increased nitric oxide (NO) production and activation of guanylate cyclase, resulting in increased cGMP and relaxation of vascular smooth muscle. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), a heat shock protein, has been shown to increase intracellular cGMP levels by formation of carbon monoxide (CO). We hypothesized that HO may be an important mediator of the hepatic response to infection. Male Swiss Webster mice underwent standard cecal ligation and puncture (CLP, 18 gauge 2X) or sham operation, and received either normal saline (NS) or Zn protoporphyrin IX (ZN PP IX), a competitive HO inhibitor (n = 6-8/group). Hepatic tissue samples were collected at 3, 6, 12, and 24 hr from separate mice. Serum was collected at 3 and 24 hr. A semiquantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction method was used to measure HO-1 mRNA levels. Hepatic cGMP levels were measured by ELISA. Groups were repeated (n = 10/group) to assess mortality. Serum was collected at 3 and 24 hr to measure serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels. HO-1 mRNA expression increased significantly by 3 hr after CLP and with HO inhibition alone (P < 0.05 vs sham + NS). HO-1 mRNA remained elevated through 24 hr. CLP animals with HO inhibition showed a significant reduction of hepatic cGMP following CLP compared with CLP + saline at 24 hr (P < 0.05). Mortality was significantly increased in the CLP + ZN PP group at 24 hr (P < 0.05 CLP NS vs CLP ZN PP). CLP caused a marked increase in AST activity, which was increased further with HO inhibition. HO-1 mRNA expression was induced by CLP. AST levels following CLP were markedly increased with HO inhibition. HO-1 function appeared to contribute to elevation of hepatic cGMP during peritonitis and may be an important hepatic adaptive response to infection.

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View details for PubMedID 9271271