We have determined whether changes in lung hyaluronan content affect extravascular water in lungs of unanesthetized rabbits. Three groups of experiments were performed. In group 1 (n = 12), no infusions were given; in group 2, nine pairs of rabbits received either intravenous hyaluronidase (750 U.kg-1.min-1) or an equivalent volume of saline; in group 3, nine pairs of rabbits received either hyaluronidase or saline, followed by intravenous saline infusion amounting to 24% of body weight. At the end of each experiment, one lung was analyzed for extravascular lung water by the wet-dry method. Except for group 3, in all animals the other lung was analyzed for hyaluronan content by a method that involved hydrolyzing lung hyaluronan with fungal hyaluronidase to release reducing N-acetyl glucosamine groups, which were quantified. In group 1, lung hyaluronan, which varied from 50 to 159 micrograms/g dry wt (mean 106 +/- 35 micrograms/g dry wt), significantly correlated with variation in extravascular lung water (mean 4.2 +/- 0.3 g/g dry wt). In group 2 rabbits given hyaluronidase, lung hyaluronan was 40% lower and extravascular lung water was 14.6% lower than in paired controls (P less than 0.01). In group 3, volume expansion did not affect lung water, except after hyaluronidase when lung water was 47% higher than paired controls. We conclude that in the lung the content of hyaluronan is one of the determinants of extravascular water content.
J. Bhattacharya, T. Cruz, S. Bhattacharya
Journal of applied physiology