Acute tobacco smoke-induced airways inflammation in spontaneously hypertensive rats

Bei Yu, Urmila P. Kodavanti, Minoru Takeuchi, Hanspeter Witschi, Kent E Pinkerton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Common laboratory rats and mice fail to develop persistent, progressive pulmonary inflammation found in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as a result of tobacco smoke exposure. We hypothesized that spontaneously hypertensive rats would be more susceptible than normal Wistar Kyoto rats to acute tobacco smoke-induced pulmonary inflammation due to impaired apoptosis. Spontaneously hypertensive rats display systemic oxidative stress, inflammation, hypercoagulation, and immunosupression, similar to humans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Male spontaneously hypertensive rats and Wistar Kyoto rats were exposed whole-body to tobacco smoke (total particulate concentration 75-85 mg/m3) or filtered air for 6 h/day for 2 or 15 days (3 days/wk). Tobacco smoke caused an increase in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid neutrophils at both time points in each strain. Significantly more neutrophils were noted in spontaneously hypertensive rats at 15 days compared to Wistar Kyoto rats. There was a trend of increase for macrophages in spontaneously hypertensive rats at both time points (significant at 2 days). TUNEL assay detected apoptotic cells in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung tissue sections. The number of apoptotic neutrophils in airway walls and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid increased at 2 days in both strains, but at 15 days the effect was much lower in spontaneously hypertensive rats than in Wistar Kyoto rats. Tobacco smoke induces a greater inflammatory response associated with lower apoptotic neutrophils in the lungs of spontaneously hypertensive rats compared to Wistar Kyoto rats. The spontaneously hypertensive rat may be a more relevant animal model of acute tobacco smoke-induced airway inflammation than other laboratory rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-633
Number of pages11
JournalInhalation Toxicology
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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