Role of myeloid Hif-1α in acute lung injury
Acute Lung Injury, characterised clinically as the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome is a catastrophic response to a range of pulmonary and non-pulmonary insults. Despite much work the key mechanisms involved in generating the exaggerated immune response that results in lung injury are not completely understood. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 has been shown to be a key transcription factor in the myeloid cell response to inflammatory signals. The aims of this thesis were to develop a model of acute lung injury and to study the role of Hif-1 in the generation of lung injury in this model. A model of direct pulmonary injury as a result of intratracheal instillation of endotoxin is described. Using this model the role of myeloid cell Hif-1α was characterised using a myeloid cell specific conditional knockout system. The injury in Hif-1α deficient mice was quantitatively similar to the injury seen in wild type animals over a range of time points. However, the quality of the injury, assessed by a measure of nitric oxide mediated damage was reduced. The in vivo data were supported by in vitro studies using a murine macrophage cell line which showed that manipulation of the cellular oxygen tension in the presence of endotoxin alters the ability of the cell to generate nitric oxide. Furthermore, pharmacological manipulation of cellular Hif-1 levels by Dimethyloxallyl Glycine (DMOG) in the macrophage cell increased the generation of nitric oxide in response to endotoxin by altering the expression of a number of the isoforms of Nitric Oxide Synthase. In a final set of experiments the response to intratracheal endotoxin was modulated in mice by the concurrent administration of DMOG. As expected the qualitative response to endotoxin was similar but the NO mediated damage was enhanced in the animals administered DMOG. Manipulation of Hif-1 may have a role in the therapy of lung injury by altering the characteristics of the response.