Skip to content


  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Heme oxygenase and soluble guanylate cyclase mediate the neutrophil migration failure to the lung in severe sepsis induced by pneumonia

  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 1 and
  • 1
Critical Care200913 (Suppl 3) :P24

  • Published:


  • Severe Sepsis
  • Klebsiella Pneumoniae
  • Heme Oxygenase
  • Neutrophil Migration
  • Soluble Guanylate Cyclase


Sepsis is the main cause of mortality in ICUs. Primary sources of infection influence the risk of severe sepsis development, and pneumonia is a leading source of this disease. Neutrophils play a critical role in the host defense against acute pulmonary infection since neutrophil-depleted mice with pneumonia had delayed pulmonary bacterial clearance and high mortality. The heme oxygenase (HO) and soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) activities are known to downregulate inflammatory events, such as neutrophil migration. In the present study we evaluated the role of HO and sGC activities on neutrophil migration to the lung during severe sepsis induced by pneumonia.


C57BL/6 male mice (18 to 22 g) underwent severe sepsis (SS, 4 × 108CFU/mice) and mild sepsis (MS, 1 × 107 CFU/mice) by intratracheal administration of Klebsiella pneumoniae. A SS mice group was pretreated with HO-1-specific inhibitor (ZnPP IX) or a specific inhibitor of sGC (ODQ). Mice were killed 6 hours after bacteria administration and alveolar neutrophil migration and pulmonary parenchyma leukocyte sequestration were evaluated.


Mice subjected to SS presented a failure of the neutrophil migration towards alveoli and an increased leukocyte sequestration into pulmonar parenchyma tissue when compared with mice subjected to MS. The HO-1 or sGC inhibition in SS mice partially restored the neutrophil migration to pulmonary alveoli and reduced the leukocyte sequestration into the pulmonary parenchyma.


These results suggest that HO-1 and sGC activities mediate the neutrophil migration failure to the lung.

Authors’ Affiliations

Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil


© BioMed Central Ltd 2009