Complex effects of in vitro hyperoxia on alveolar macrophage arachidonic acid metabolism.

P. H. Sporn*, T. M. Murphy, M. Peters-Golden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Metabolites of arachidonic acid (AA) released into bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of animals exposed to hyperoxia have previously been implicated as mediators of pulmonary oxygen toxicity. The alveolar macrophage (AM) represents an important potential source of these eicosanoids. We have therefore investigated the effects of in vitro hyperoxia (95% O2/5% CO2) versus normoxia (95% air/5% CO2) on the metabolism of AA in the AM of the rat. Exposure to 95% O2 for up to 72 h did not impair the viability or affect the protein content of cultured AMs. Hyperoxia for 24 to 72 h increased the accumulation of free AA liberated from endogenous stores in cultures of resting AMs. Despite this increase in free AA, no changes in synthesis of thromboxane B2, prostaglandin (PG) E2, PGF2 alpha, leukotriene (LT) B4, or LTC4 were observed in resting AMs exposed to hyperoxia for up to 72 h. This was not due to degradation of eicosanoids in hyperoxia. However, formation of cyclooxygenase metabolites from exogenously supplied AA was reduced in hyperoxia-incubated AMs, suggesting that hyperoxia inhibited the cyclooxygenase enzyme. In AMs stimulated with calcium ionophore A23187, both AA release and synthesis of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase eicosanoids were augmented after incubation in hyperoxia for 24 to 72 h. The increase in A23187-stimulated LTB4 synthesis caused by hyperoxia was inhibited by the antioxidants catalase, superoxide dismutase, and the intracellular cysteine loading agent L-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid, suggesting that the augmentation by hyperoxia of A23187-induced AA metabolism was mediated by reactive oxygen metabolites. Thus, hyperoxia has complex effects on AA metabolism in the AM, which include the ability to augment the release of AA and formation of bioactive eicosanoids. These findings support a possible role for eicosanoid synthesis by the AM in the pathogenesis of oxygen toxicity of the lung.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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